Clarence Thomas – 1948–
Born in rural Georgia, Thomas was raised by his grandfather, educated in Catholic schools, and received his law degree from Yale University in 1974. After working in the private sector and in government, he served as a justice on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia from 1990 to 1991, when he was nominated by President George H. W. Bush to replace Thurgood Marshall on the Supreme Court. Both Thomas and Marshall were black, but whereas Marshall (retiring for reasons of age and ill health) was a liberal, Thomas was a staunch conservative. His televised Senate confirmation hearing was bitter, marked by accusations of sexual harassment from Anita Hill, a former colleague. Thomas’ appointment shifted the Supreme Court toward conservatism.