Today I was born, I was the second son of William Marshall, my dad. I was born on July 2, 1908, in West Baltimore, Maryland. My father worked as a dining car waiter for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. This job was descent for African Americans at that time. My aunt once remarked that when I was a child I was very cute and I had big dark eyes.
On September 4, 1929 I married a women named Vivian Burey, although she was older then me I still accepted her. On that year I married Vivian, later we moved into a small house in Oxford, and I became a bellhoper, and waiter. During college years I was playing more than studying, and usually I got B’s and C’s as a grade, but Vivian turned me around and encouraged me to work harder. After that I started getting A’s.
In 1932, I was a second year law student in college and I was asked to write an argument from my favorite teacher Mr. Hastie. Mr. Hastie was a graduate from Harvard University and was the first African American Federal Judge. Even though I lost side of the case I learned a lot about actual practice law.
In 1933, I was the first graduate student in my law class. Although Harvard University offered me a scholarship I turned it down, because I wanted to achieve my future dream “practice law”.
In 1933, I opened a small office in Baltimore. Although African American lawyers were rare, because a majority of judges were white African Americans would often hire white lawyers. In the first year of working I had to pay $1000 for rent. That was a lot of money at that time.
When working in law I accepted people who needed lawyers for free, and news went around about what I was doing, and more and more people started coming. I was chosen to join the NAACP in 1934. I was not paid for it but I felt good to work for the civil rights group.
In 1938, I handled my first case as a NAACP assistant special counsel. This case was about a University in Missouri. The university would not accept an African American named Lloyd Gains. Gains was kicked out for his color, so he filed a lawsuit against the university. When in court the jury voted 6-2, I won the case. The University of Missouri would have to either accept him into the college or look for a college for him.
On December 8, 1953 I was walking up the marble stairs and looked up at the word “Equal Justice Under Law”. On that day I had a case about segregated schools. The case was called the “Brown V. Board of Education of Topeka”. Five combinations of African Americans from different places filed a lawsuit to there local schools. The lawsuit was about violating the constitution by separating blacks from whites in schools. The Jury voted a 9 to 0 in that case and I was very happy, but later I became sorrow because my wife told me she was dying of cancer. The Brown case was not over, the governor of Virginia declared that they will try to make schools segregated. In 1955 the Supreme Court ordered that al schools to desegregate.
In July 1965, I and some of my co-workers were eating lunch and then someone came over here and arrived with a message. It was the president on the phone she said.
I asked her the president of what, and she said it was the president of the United States. When I picked up the phone Lyndon B. Johnson invited me to come to Washington DC, he wanted to talk about my new job. When I got to the White House, Johnson asked me to accept the nomination to the post of U.S. solicitor general, I said yes I accepted it and after two weeks of the hearing I had a case.
On June 27, 1991, I announced my retirement in the Supreme Court, reporters asked why, I said I was getting old “I’m 83 years old”. Reporters asked what would I do after my retirement, and I said I don’t know.
On January 24, 1993, Thurgood Marshall died of heart failure in Maryland’s Bethesda Naval. He was about to attend his close friend Al Gore’s inauguration.