One of America's Greatest Civil Rights Pioneers

Humble Beginnings

34-cent stamp featuring a photo of Langston Hughes
The Langston Hughes stamp was issued February 1, 2002.

Thurgood Marshall was born on July 2, 1908 in Baltimore, Maryland to Norma and William Marshall. The great-grandson of a slave, he was raised with a deep respect for the United States Constitution and studied its intricacies frequently.

In 1925, after graduating from Douglass High School, he enrolled at Lincoln University in Chester County, Pennsylvania. One of his classmates at Lincoln was the famous author, Langston Hughes. It was here where he met his wife, Vivian Burey.

Upon graduating Lincoln, he applied to the University of Maryland law school, only to be denied entrance because of his race. And so began Marshall’s crusade against the injustices disguised as “laws” that were all too common in America.

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The 3-cent U.S. Constitution Sesquicentennial stamp was issued September 17, 1937.