Born Los Angeles, California
When President Dwight Eisenhower appointed Earl Warren as chief justice of the United States in 1953, no one had any idea of the far-reaching impact Warren would have on the Supreme Court. But with the Court's historic 1954 decision requiring school desegregation, Americans soon had an indication. The unanimous findings in Brown v. the Board of Education disallowed the right of local jurisdictions to segregate their public school systems by race.
In words carefully chosen to ensure everyone would understand his meaning, Warren declared on behalf of his fellow justices: "In the field of public education the doctrine of 'separate but equal' has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal."
Despite attempts by many southern states to block forced integration in ensuing years, the Brown decision ultimately prevailed.