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Thurgood Marshall

Thurgood Marshall was the first African American Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Marshall was also famous for his historic victory on the ‘Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka’ Case, which ended the racial segregation of public schools.

Thurgood Marshall, born ‘Thoroughgood Marshall’, was born on July 2, 1908 in Baltimore, Maryland. His grandfather and great-grandfather were both slaves. His father however, was a railroad porter, while his mother was a teacher.

Marshall graduated from Frederick Douglas High School in Baltimore in 1925, after which he was accepted by Lincoln University. Marshall, aside from studying law, was an active member of the Lincoln debating team. Marshall also took part in a debate that centered on the racial integration of the African-American professors of the University, a motion which he opposed. Marshall graduated from Lincoln in 1929 with a Bachelors of Arts in Humanities. He subsequently studied law at the Howard University School of Law, where he graduated at the top of his class in 1933.

After graduation, Marshall joined the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1936; an organization with which he would be affiliated for twenty five years. In 1934, Marshall represented the organization in the law school discrimination suit, ‘Murray v. Pearson’, against the University of Maryland, which Marshall won for Murray. Marshall’s victory was centered on the ‘separate but equal’ doctrine of the Fourteenth Amendment, which Marshall used to his advantage.

In 1940, Marshall won an extremely important United States Supreme Court Case that dealt with the authenticity of a confession under ‘due pressure’. The case, named ‘Florida v. Chambers’ was one of Marshall’s many successful victories before the Supreme Court. Marshall then founded the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, through which he argued many civil rights cases before the Supreme Court, the majority of which Marshall won. These included many cases which concerned

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