When Thurgood Marshall became Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, he was more than just the ninety-sixth individual to hold the honor. He was the first African-American to hold this extraordinary post, as well. While this is perhaps the most well-known accomplishment of Thurgood Marshall’s career, it is not the only thing he has accomplished by a long shot.
1. He Served As A Justice For 24 Years
While Marshall did not have as satisfying a career as an Associate Justice as he may have perhaps liked, there is no question that he accomplished a great deal on the bench. One of these accomplishments would have to be the fact that he served for an impressive twenty-four years. Over the course of that career, there is no question that he heard some of the most significant social and political arguments in American history.
2. He Was First In His Class
Thurgood Marshall refused to give up on his dreams. For example, at the beginning of his legal career, he was actually rejected by Maryland Law School. However, he turned this misfortune around by going on to not only study at Howard, but to come out of Howard as number one in his class. It was also during this time that Marshall found his mentor in Charles Houston, the iconic civil liberties lawyer.
3. He Was NAACP Chief Counsel
Marshall worked extensively with the NAACP for much of his career. It was during this remarkable period of his life that he achieved the position of Chief Counsel. In fact, when he became an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, some criticized the move, calling Marshall a “judicial activist.”
4. He Won A Lot More Than He Lost
Over the course of his career as Chief Counsel for the NAACP, Thurgood Marshall brought thirty-two civil rights cases before the Supreme Court. Of those thirty-two cases Thurgood Marshall argued, he won an impressive twenty-nine. Chambers vs. Florida is only one example of the many significant cases Marshall argued and won as the top lawyer for the NAACP.
5. Solicitor General
Before Thurgood Marshall achieved the significant milestone of becoming the first African-American Supreme Court Associate Justice, Marshall achieved the accomplishment of becoming the first African-American Solicitor General. Marshall would hold this position for only a couple of years, before Lyndon Johnson had him appointed to the Supreme Court.
These are just five of the notable things Thurgood Marshall accomplished, over the course of his remarkable life.