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Thurgood Marshall Birthday & Fun Facts

Height, Age, Net Worth, Biography & More

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Thurgood Marshall Birthday Highlights

Birth Name
Thoroughgood Marshall
Place Of Birth
Baltimore, USA
115 years old
Birth Date
July 2 1908

Thurgood Marshall Facts

Child Star?
Supreme Court Justice, Politician
Education & Qualifications
Howard University School of Law
Net Worth
Current Partner
Cecilia Suyat Marshall
Thurgood Marshall Jr., John W. Marshall
Norma Arica Williams, William Marshall
William Aubrey Marshall

About Thurgood Marshall 

Thurgood 'Thoroughgood' Marshall, an American attorney and civil rights crusader, held the USA Supreme Court judge position between 1967-1991.

Thurgood  Marshall was the first colored justice of the Supreme Court. He contended numerous cases in the Supreme Court, notably Brown v. Board of Education, where he fought against racial segregation in America's public education system.

In 1940, he founded the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) and functioned as executive director. Earlier, he founded an independent law practice in his hometown. He defended various issues in the Supreme Court as an attorney, including Shelley v. Kraemer, Smith v. Allwright, and Brown v. Board of Education.

Triumph of Marshall in the historic 1954 lawsuit Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka at the Supreme Court was one of his crowning accomplishments as the civil-rights advocate. A group of black parents brought the racial discrimination case to Topeka, Kansas. Their children were compelled to enroll in only black students' schools. In Brown v. Board, a crucial point of the twentieth century,  Marshall directly confronted the legal support of institutionalized racism, the concept of 'separate but equal', set by the Supreme Court after the 1896 Court Case Plessy v. Ferguson. Finally, the Supreme Court, unequivocally, decided that segregated instructional facilities are fundamentally unfair. On May 17, 1954, the court verdict accepted that the racial segregation in America's public schools undermined the equal protection guarantee of the 14th Amendment. Although the judge's opinion was inconsistent and frustratingly delayed in implementation Brown v. Board laid the constitutional groundwork. It inspired the Civil Rights movement that evolved within the next decade. Simultaneously, the lawsuit made Marshall one of America's most accomplished and recognized lawyers. 

In 1961, Marshall was appointed to the second circuit of the US Court of Appeals by President John F. Kennedy. President Lyndon B. Johnson named Thurgood Marshall the United States Solicitor General in 1965. President  Johnson selected Marshall as the successor to outgoing Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark on the USA Supreme Court in 1967 amid controversy. In 1991, he retired and was followed by Clarence Thomas.

Thurgood Marshall was born in Baltimore, Maryland. William Marshall and Norma Williams were the parents of Thurgood Marshall. He went on to marry Vivian 'Buster' Burey shortly before graduating. In 1930, Thurgood Marshall completed graduation from Lincoln University. Thurgood Marshall joined Howard University after being barred from entry to his initial preference, the University of Maryland Law School, due to their racial segregation policy. He with Vivian returned to his parents' place. His mother's wedding ring was sold to raise money for his law school degree. He studied civil and human rights and started considering the constitution as a breathing text. In 1933, he received his law degree from Howard University Law School. Continue reading to explore the achievements of Supreme Court Justice Marshall.

Thurgood Marshall's Net Worth, Earnings & Spending Habits

What was Thurgood Marshall's net worth?

The net worth of Thurgood Marshall before his death was $1-5 million.

How much did Thurgood Marshall earn per year?

Marshall died in 1993. His annual earnings at the time of his death are not known.

Height, Age & Physical Attributes

How tall was Thurgood Marshall?

Thurgood Marshall was 6 ft 2 in (188 cm) tall.

How old was Thurgood Marshall?

Thurgood Marshall was born to his parents in Baltimore, Maryland, on July 2, 1908. He passed out on January 24, 1993, at age 85.

Childhood And Education

Thurgood Marshall was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Thurgood Marshall's real name was Thoroughgood, but he became sick of having to spell such a big name as a kid. In elementary school, he abbreviated his birth name to Thurgood. His father, William Marshall, was a train worker. William later worked in the Gibson Island Club, which allowed only white people. His mother, Norma Williams, was a teacher at the local school. Marshall's elder brother was William Aubrey Marshall. One of Marshall's great-grandparents was an enslaved person brought from Congo to Maryland and finally emancipated.

Marshall joined Lincoln University in Chester County, Pennsylvania, upon finishing high school in 1925. Next, he sought admission to the University of Maryland Law School but was barred admittance due to the racial segregation policy of the University at the time. As a result, Marshall enrolled at the Law School of Howard University and ranked first in his cohort. He found his coach, Charles Hamilton Huston, there and created a bond for a lifetime with him. 

Family, Romance, And Relationships

Who was Thurgood Marshall's partner?

Thurgood Marshall married Cecilia 'Cissy' Suyat Marshall in 1955, and they remained together until he died in 1993.

Personal Life of Thurgood Marshall

Vivian Burey Marshall was Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall's first wife. They married in 1929 and lived together until she expired on February 24, 1955. They had no offspring.

Thurgood Marshall remarried Cecilia 'Cissy' Suyat, an NAACP secretary, in December 1955. Suyat was of Filipino nationality. She was initially hesitant to accept the proposal of Marshall. She was concerned that an inter-racial wedding would bring unfavorable publicity to the Marshall and the NAACP. As usual to his attitude, Marshall did not care about people's opinions, and the marriage took place.

Thurgood Jr. and John were the couple's two sons. The couple stayed married until Marshall's demise in 1993. Thurgood Marshall Jr., Marshall's elder son, is also a lawyer. John Marshall was the longest-standing official of the Virginia Governor's administration. 

Career And Professional Highlights

Best Known For…

As a civil rights attorney, Marshall contended that 32 lawsuits won 29 in the Supreme Court. No one has brought and won more significant cases before the Supreme Court than Marshall. Marshall's advocacy for human and civil rights shaped his views and choices as a Supreme Court justice for 24 years. Contemporary historians consider him pivotal in formulating social frameworks and preserving minority-protection laws.

Marshall entered the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as a professional lawyer under Charles Houston in 1936. After two years, he got the head position in the NAACP's law office. In 1940, he was designated head of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. In the lawsuit of  Murray v.  Pearson (1935), Marshall fought for a qualified student, Donald Murray, in court. Like him, he had been denied admission to the University of Maryland Law School, which was one of his initial cases to protect the civil rights of people of color. He argued with his guide, Charles Houston. The Thurgood Marshall Institute, a multifaceted organization under the NAACP LDF, carries on the mission of Thurgood Marshall.

President John F. Kennedy recommended Marshall to the USA Court of Appeals, second circuit, in September 1961. The senators of southern States blocked his appointment for many months. Later, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Marshall Solicitor General of the US in July 1965 and named him the Supreme Court justice on June 13, 1967.

President Johnson recommended that Marshall as the associate justice of the United States Supreme Court after the retirement of Tom C. Clark on June 13, 1967. On the nomination of Marshall, president Johnson stated that it was an appropriate action taken at the perfect moment for the best person and the correct designation. Senate Judiciary Committee confirmed the nomination of Marshall in July 1967. The committee approved the proposal by 11 votes against five to refer the subject with a positive remark to the full Senate on August 3. Democrat Sam Ervin objected by arguing that appointing a legal activist in the position of Supreme Court associate justice by any account was undoubtedly a dishonor to the nation and the constitution.

A group of Southern senators, mostly Democrats, leveraged riots in the country's regions and people's dread of lawlessness to help defeat Marshall's confirmation. Also, the band of senators of Southern states had previously ruled against Marshall's appointment to the Appeals Court and attempted to prevent the passage of the Civil Rights Act 1964. Nonetheless, they argued that Marshall's skin color had no role in their feelings towards his selection.

Eventually, Marshall was approved by Congress on August 30, 1967. The result was 69 votes for him and 11 against him. More precisely,  32 Republicans and 37 Democrats voted in favor, and one Republican and 10 Democrats opposed the nomination. The US Senate approved the nomination of Marshall on August 30, 1967. Marshall became the Supreme Court's first African American justice. On October two, 1967, Marshall swore the judge's oath to the constitution.

Marshall entered an unprejudiced High Court led by Earl Warren, the Chief Justice, who shared Marshall's political and constitutional beliefs. Being a  High Court justice, Marshall generally backed decisions that upheld solid protections for personal liberty and open-minded views of contentious social justice issues. He was a member of the plurality that decided in support of abortion rights in the famous 1973 lawsuit Roe v. Wade. In the 1972 suit Furman v. Georgia, which resulted in a temporary postponement of the capital sentence, Marshall stated that the death sentence was unlawful in all situations.

During Marshall's 24 years term on the court, the Republican presidents selected conservative justices. Marshall eventually remained a lone liberal voice of a growingly conservative Court. He was reduced to authoring sharply written rebuttals in the latter part of his tenure on the bench since the court reintroduced capital punishment and restricted positive discrimination and abortion rights. In 1991, Marshall resigned due to ill health.

Charity Work

Thurgood Marshall created the Legal Defense Fund in 1940. It has advocated civil rights for African-Americans for almost 80 years. Marshall's objective behind the creation of   LDF was to utilize the force of the law to safeguard and promote people of color's full equality and sovereignty in America. The LDF envisions and builds a multi-cultural, interracial democracy in which humanity is cherished, power is distributed, and prosperity is the norm.

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund, founded in 1987, provides financial assistance to almost 300,000 students attending age-old educational institutions and medical and law schools for Blacks.

Other Interesting Thurgood Marshall Facts And Trivia

  • During his 24-year term on the Supreme Court, Marshall zealously protected diversity programs and advocated First Amendment rights.
  • Marshall attended Lincoln University to study dentistry.
  • Marshall was forced to learn the United States Constitution as a penalty for misbehavior in class at school.

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Kidadl Team
Written By
Kidadl Team

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