This Day in Black History: June 6, 1939

Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund, was born.

Posted: 06/06/2012 07:00 AM EDT

Children’s rights activist and pioneering lawyer Marian Wright Edelman was born in Bennettsville, South Carolina, on June 6, 1939.

After attending Spelman College, Edelman went on to earn a law degree at Yale University. Edelman was the first African-American woman to be admitted into the state bar of Mississippi and worked at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund early in her career. In 1973, Edelman founded the Children’s Defense Fund, a non-profit child advocacy organization that works “to ensure a level playing field for all children.”

She is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and over one hundred honorary degrees.



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