Marian Wright Edelman

Born:June 6, 1939 (age 82)
Career:Activist for children's rights
Education:B.A., Spelman College
J.D., Yale Law School

Marian Wright Edelman, a graduate of Spelman College and Yale Law School, began her career in the mid 1960s. As the first black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar, she directed the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Legal Defense and Educational Fund office in Jackson, Mississippi.

Edelman was born June 6, 1939, in Bennetsville, South Carolina. In l968, she moved to Washington, D.C., as counsel for the Poor People's Campaign that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. began organizing before his death. She founded the Washington Research Project, a public interest law firm and the parent body of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF). For two years she served as the director of the Center for Law and Education at Harvard University and, in 1973, began CDF.

Edelman is a board member of the Robin Hood Foundation, the Association to Benefit Children, and City Lights School and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.