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Picture of Thurgood Marshall
Thurgood Marshall: Biography

Thurgood Marshall was born July 2, 1908, in Baltimore, Maryland. He graduated with honors from Lincoln University in 1930 and magna cum laude from Howard University Law School in 1933. After a year in private practice, Marshall began to work for the Baltimore branch of the NAACP in 1934. Before serving on the Supreme Court, Marshall served as legal director of the NAACP from 1940 to 1961. He won the first of 29 Supreme Court victories in 1940. In 1954, he won the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, which demolished the legal basis for segregation in the United States. President John Kennedy appointed Marshall to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 1961. From 1965 to 1967, he served as U.S. solicitor general under President Lyndon Johnson. In 1967, Marshall became the first African American named to the United States Supreme Court when President Lyndon Johnson elevated him to the high court. He served on the court for 24 years until 1991, when he announced his retirement due to advancing age and deteriorating health.

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