Burke Marshall (October 1, 1922 – June 2, 2003) was an American lawyer and the head of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice during the Civil Rights Era.
Marshall was born in Plainfield, New Jersey. He attended the Phillips Exeter Academy, graduating in 1940, and received a BA from Yale University in 1943. He joined the army, working in the intelligence corps as a Japanese translator and cryptoanalyst. It was during his military service that he met Violet Person, whom he later married.
After World War II, Marshall returned to Yale Law School, earning his LL.D. in 1951. He was admitted to the Washington, D.C. bar the same year.
Marshall joined the Washington-based law firm of Covington & Burling in 1952, where he worked for ten years, specializing in antitrust law for clients such as Standard Oil.
Marshall was appointed Assistant Attorney General in 1961 by Robert Kennedy, who was Attorney General in President John F. Kennedy's administration. Despite Marshall's lack of civil rights experience, he was put in charge of the Civil Rights Division, as Robert Kennedy had already decided not to appoint a known rights leader...
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