Cecilia Marshall, Civil rights activist, Dies at 94

The Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is deeply shocked by the death of Cecilia “Cissy” Suyat Marshall. Ms. Cecilia Marshall was the wife of LDF’s founder and the nation’s first Black Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall who was a former staff member and long-standing LDF board member, and a tireless devotee to the cause of equal justice.  

As a young employee for the arm of the NAACP that would eventually become LDF, Ms. Marshall contributed to the exhaustive preparation for the Brown v. Board of Education trial, which overturned the “separate but equal” doctrine of legally sanctioned discrimination and forever changed the American landscape.

Cecilia Marshall Death and Legacy

Known as Cissy, Ms. Marshall opened her eyes as a  Cecilia Suyat on July 20, 1928, to Filipino parents on the Hawaiian island of Maui. The island’s diversity – and its distance from the United States, which it would not join as a state until 1959 – initially insulated Ms. Marshall from the harsh racial discrimination that plagued America until she moved to the continental United States.

 As a young kid, she actively protested racial discrimination and became deeply engaged in the fight for racial justice.   After getting married to  Mr. Marshall in 1955, she faithfully supported him through some of the most trying passages of his long career, such as his contentious Supreme Court confirmation hearing.

Cecilia Marshall Family

After his death in 1993, she has also acted as the main steward of Justice Marshall’s legacy, giving frequent interviews about their life together and serving with organizations that had been important to him, that also LDF.  

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In reaction to today’s news, LDF’s current and former President and Directors-Counsel issued the following statements:  Janai Nelson, LDF’s President, and Director-Counsel:

“It is with a heavy heart that we received the news today of Ms. Marshall’s passing. Ms. Marshall was a civil rights activist, historian, mother, grandmother, widow of LDF’s founder Thurgood Marshall, and a phenomenal supporter of LDF – including as a devoted member of our Board of Directors. She also had a robust sense of humor, was kind-hearted, and exuded a mighty force belied by her petite stature. She was a cherished member of the LDF family, and we extend our deepest condolences to her immediate and extended family who shared her with us so generously over the years.”  

Cecilia  Marshall  Net Worth

Cecilia Marshall has made a cool net worth figure of $ 364 K at the time of her death.

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