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Marian Wright Edelman


Full Name: Marian Wright Edelman
June 6, 1939
Notable: Activist
Nationality: American


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Show Notes

Marian Wright Edelman was born in the segregated town of Bennettsville, South Carolina the youngest child of Rev. Arthur Jerome Wright and Maggie Leola Wright. Her father died when she was fourteen, but before his passing, he stressed the importance of education and public service.

Edelman attended Spelman College in Atlanta and later Yale University Law School. Following graduation, she became involved with the Civil Rights Movement working to register Black voters in Mississippi and as a staff attorney for the NAACP. Edelman went on to become the first Black woman admitted to the Mississippi State Bar.

Since becoming active in the 1960s Edelman has been an advocate for Head Start, provided counsel to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign, and lobbied Congress for nutrition programs. Edelman is also the founder of the what became the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), a leader in advocacy for children.

Works Cited

  • Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Marian Wright Edelman.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 4 Apr. 2019,
  • Kreiger, Caroline. “Marian Wright Edelman (1939- ) • BlackPast.” BlackPast, 30 Jan. 2019,
  • “Marian Wright Edelman.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 20 Feb. 2019,
  • “Marian Wright Edelman’s Biography.” The HistoryMakers,
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