U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Thurgood Marshall was born July 2, 1908 in Baltimore,
Maryland. He received his B.A. from Lincoln University as a pre-dental student. Later, he changed his major to law and graduated magna cum laude from Howard University's Law School in 1933. As an attorney in private practice, Marshall defended people who were too poor to afford legal fees. In 1936, he began his career with the NAACP, and eventually became director of its Legal Defense Fund. In 1946, Marshall was presented the NAACP Spingarn Medal for his services as a lawyer appearing before the Supreme Court. However, in 1954 as part of an imposing team of lawyers, Marshall gave the closing arguments to probably the most monumental case of his career, Brown vs. Board of Education. Marshall spoke eloquently, and asked: "Why of all the multitudinous groups of people in this country [do] you have to single out Negroes and give them this separate treatment?" The Supreme Court ruled "separate but equal" to be unconstitutional. On June 13, 1967, at age 59, Thurgood Marshall became the ninety-sixth man, and the first Black to be appointed to the highest court in the land, the U.S. Supreme Court.