Clarence Thomas is a justice of the United States Supreme Court.
Thomas, a former protege of retired Senator John Danforth (Republican, MO), is best known for the controversy surrounding his 1991 confirmation hearings. A former colleague, respected college law professor Anita Hill, accused Thomas of sexually harassing her when the two worked together.
The Thomas hearings brought the sexual harassment issue to the forefront of American culture, and have had a lasting impact on workplace relations.
Thomas was born June 23, 1948 in Pin Point, Georgia. A devout Roman Catholic, Thomas considered entering the priesthood, and briefly attended a Catholic seminary in Georgia. Thomas later attended Holy Cross, where he co-founded the school's Black Student Union.
Thomas received his law degree from Yale University, after affirmative action programs designed to increase the number of African-American students at Yale helped him gain admission. After his graduation, Thomas went to work for Danforth- then the Missouri Attorney General. Thomas later served as an aide to Danforth, after Danforth had been elected to the Senate.
After serving in the Reagan Administration as director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Thomas was appointed to the U.S. Court Of Appeals, where he served for eighteen months. In 1991, President George Bush selected Thomas to replace retiring Justice Thurgood Marshall. Thomas was narrowly confirmed by the Senate, with a 52-48 vote.