image of Thurgood Marshall

Thurgood Marshall was born in 1908, in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1933, Thurgood Marshall received his law degree from Howard University. At this time African American people were still being discriminated against in southern states. In 1935, Thurgood Marshall’s first major court victory came in Murray v. Pearson, when he, alongside his mentor Charles Houston, successfully sued the University of Maryland for denying a Black applicant admission to its law school because of his race. In 1967, following the retirement of Justice Tom C. Clark, President Johnson appointed Thurgood Marshall, the first Black justice, to the U.S. Supreme Court, proclaiming it was “the right thing to do, the right time to do it, and the right man and the right place.” Thurgood Marshall developed a reputation as a passionate member of the court who supported expanding civil rights, enacting affirmative action laws, and limiting criminal punishment.