Thurgood Marshall

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Thurgood Marshall : biography

July 2, 1908 – January 24, 1993

Thurgood Marshall (July 2, 1908January 24, 1993) was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, serving from October 1967 until October 1991. Marshall was the Court’s 96th justice and its first African-American justice.

Before becoming a judge, Marshall was a lawyer who was best known for his high success rate in arguing before the Supreme Court and for the victory in Brown v. Board of Education. He served on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit after being appointed by President John F. Kennedy and then served as the Solicitor General after being appointed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965. President Johnson nominated him to the United States Supreme Court in 1967.

Marriage and family

Marshall was married twice. He married Vivien "Buster" Burey in 1929. After her death in February 1955, Marshall married Cecilia Suyat in December of that year. They were married until he died 1993, having two sons together, Thurgood Marshall, Jr., a former top aide to President Bill Clinton, and John W. Marshall, a former United States Marshals Service Director and Virginia Secretary of Public Safety.

Death and legacy

Marshall died of heart failure at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, at 2:58 pm on January 24, 1993 at the age of 84. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Find a Grave.See generally, Supreme Court Historical Society at Internet Archive. His second wife and their two sons survived him.

Marshall left all of his personal papers and notes to the Library of Congress. The Librarian of Congress, James H. Billington, opened Marshall’s papers for immediate use by scholars, journalists and the public, insisting that this was Marshall’s intent. The Marshall family and several of his close associates disputed this claim. The decision to make the documents public was supported by the American Library Association. A list of the archived manuscripts is available.

There are numerous memorials to Marshall. One, an eight-foot statue, stands in Lawyers Mall adjacent to the Maryland State House. The statue, dedicated on October 22, 1996, depicts Marshall as a young lawyer and it is placed just a few feet away from where the Old Maryland Supreme Court Building stood; the court where Marshall argued discrimination cases leading up to the Brown decision. The primary office building for the federal court system, located on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., is named in honor of Justice Marshall and contains a statue of him in the atrium. In 1976, Texas Southern University renamed their law school after the sitting justice. In 1980, the University of Maryland School of Law opened a new library which they named the Thurgood Marshall Law Library., University of Maryland School of Law In 2000, the historic Twelfth Street YMCA Building located in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, D.C. was renamed the Thurgood Marshall Center. The major airport serving Baltimore and the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC, was renamed the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport on October 1, 2005. The 2009 General Convention of the Episcopal Church added Marshall to the church’s liturgical calendar of "Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints," designating May 17 as his feast day.NEW YORK: St. Philip’s celebrates Thurgood Marshall feast day, . His membership of the Lincoln University fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha is to be memorialized by a sculpture by artist Alvin Pettit in 2013.

The University of California, San Diego renamed its Third College after Thurgood Marshall in 1993. Marshall Middle School in Olympia, Washington is also named after Thurgood Marshall, as is Thurgood Marshall Academy in Washington, D.C.

In 2006 Thurgood, a one-man play written by George Stevens, Jr., premiered at the Westport Country Playhouse, starring James Earl Jones and directed by Leonard Foglia. Later it opened Broadway at the Booth Theatre on April 30, 2008 starring Laurence Fishburne. On February 24, 2011, HBO screened a filmed version of the play which Fishburne performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The production was described by the Baltimore Sun as "one of the most frank, informed and searing discussions of race you will ever see on TV.". On February 16, 2011, a screening of the film was hosted by the White House as part of its celebrations of Black History Month