Born: June 23, 1948, in Savannah, Georgia
Status: Associate justice of the United States Supreme Court
Education: Attended Immaculate Conception Seminary, Conception, Missouri, 1967-1968; B.A., 1971, Holy Cross College, Worcester, Massachusetts; J.D., 1974, Yale University Law School, New Haven, Connecticut; admitted to the bar of Missouri, 1974--
Position: Assistant attorney general for Missouri, 1974-1977; attorney, Monsanto Company, St. Louis, Missouri, 1977-1979; legislative assistant to Missouri senator John C. Danforth, 1979-1981; assistant secretary for civil rights, U.S. Department of Education, 1981-1982; chairman, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 1982-1990; judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, 1990-1991; associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, 1991--
Newsweek magazine noted in 1991, when Clarence Thomas was nominated for a position on the United States Supreme Court, that "For every Clarence Thomas revealed ... there seems to be an equal and opposite Clarence Thomas somewhere else" ( Kaplan et al. 20). On the one hand, there was the "black Horatio Alger" who had pulled himself up from poverty by his bootstraps; on the other, there was the "bitter, impulsive, hotheaded and opportunistic Thomas" ( Kaplan et al. 20). Thomas has shown himself to be a complex man and, in many ways, an enigma to both his critics and admirers.