Marshall, Burke 1922-2003

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MARSHALL, Burke 1922-2003

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born October 1, 1922, in Plainfield, NJ; died of myelodysplasia June 2, 2003, in Newtown, CT. Attorney, government official, and author. Marshall is best known for serving as assistant attorney general under U.S. President John F. Kennedy during the civil rights era. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II as a Japanese linguist, and earned his law degree at Yale University in 1951. That year he was admitted to the Washington, D.C., bar and joined the Covington & Burling law firm. In 1961 Kennedy tapped him for the job of assistant attorney general, though his specialty had been antitrust law and he knew little about civil rights. Nevertheless, Marshall quickly grew into the post and was admired by African-American civil rights leaders for his willingness to listen to their concerns and for his skill as an intermediary between antagonistic parties in the southern states. After negotiating a truce in Birmingham between the Alabama state government and civil rights protesters led by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1963, Marshall drafted what would later become the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Leaving office in 1965, he returned to his former law firm briefly before becoming vice president and general counsel for International Business Machines Corp. He left IBM in 1969 to join the faculty at Yale University as deputy dean and professor of law; in 1986 he was named Nicholas deB. Katzenbach professor emeritus. Marshall wrote two books about civil rights, Federalism and Civil Rights (1964) and the coauthored The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights under Law (1966), as well as serving as coauthor of The My Lai Massacre and Its Cover-Up: Beyond the Reach of the Law?: The Peers Commission Report (1976). He also edited A Workable Government?: The Constitutionafter 200 Years (1987) and Foreign in a Domestic Sense: Puerto Rico, American Expansion, and the Constitution (2001).

OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Chicago Tribune, June 3, 2003, section 1, p. 11.

Los Angeles Times, June 4, 2003, p. B10.

New York Times, June 3, 2003, pp. A1, C17.

Washington Post, June 3, 2003, p. B6.