The late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall’s late wife Cecilia “Cissy” Suyat Marshall, who collaborated with the civil rights activist at the NAACP, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 94, according to the Supreme Court.
Following a career as a civil rights attorney in which he defended the historic Brown v. Board of Education case that abolished segregation in public schools, Marshall’s husband became the high court’s first Black justice in 1967. He left the high court in 1991 and passed away at the age of 84 in 1993.
Cecilia Suyat was born on July 20, 1928, in Hawaii. Later, she relocated to New York City where she studied stenography at Columbia University during the evenings. She was hired by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1948 after being directed there by an employment agency.
In a 2016 interview, she recalled how the clerk referred her to the NAACP national headquarters after noticing her dark skin. She sent me to the NAACP for my first job, and that’s the only explanation I can come up with. And I continue to be grateful to her because, without her, I would not have been aware that there was a race issue.
Cissy Marshall was described as a “vibrant and committed member of the Court family” who often attended court functions Chief Justice John Roberts in a statement.
Every clerk to Justice Marshall earned a sort of bonus: the persistent companionship and support of his wife Cissy, according to Justice Elena Kagan, who served as Marshall’s legal clerk.
Funeral plans were still being made, according to the Supreme Court. Thurgood Marshall was laid to rest in a portion of Arlington National Cemetery in Washington where a number of other former judges were also interred.