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Wife of Justice Thurgood Marshall, Cecilia Marshall, passes away at 94

Obit Supreme Court Cissy Marshall
Posted at 5:44 PM, Nov 22, 2022

The Supreme Court announced Tuesday that Cecilia Marshall, wife of late Justice Thurgood Marshall, has died.

According to a statement, she passed away at 94 in Falls Church, Virginia, surrounded by her family.

Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement that she was a “vibrant and engaged member of the Court family" and that “You wanted to sit next to her at any event."

Born in Hawaii in 1928, Cecilia Marshall began taking classes at Columbia University to become a stenographer after moving to New York City.

She met the high court's first Black justice while working at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which she began in 1948. They later married on Dec. 17, 1955.

The Associated Press reported that his first wife, Vivien Burey, died of cancer in 1955.

Her husband was appointed to the Supreme Court on Oct. 2, 1967, by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Before joining the Supreme Court, he worked as a civil rights lawyer. This career included him arguing the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education, which outlawed segregation in public schools, the Associated Press reported.

He retired from the Supreme Court in 1991 and died at 84 in 1993.

Justice Elena Kagan, who clerked for Thurgood Marshall, said, “Every clerk to Justice Marshall received a sort of bonus: the steadfast friendship and support of his wife, Cissy. She called her "a marvelous woman" that was "loved and admired" by all.

She is survived by her two sons, Thurgood Jr. and John, four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements are pending, the Supreme Court said.