Earl Warren (1891–1974) was the chief justice of the Supreme Court from 1953 to 1969. During his tenure, the Court issued a number of landmark rulings that protected individual and civil rights. Before being appointed to the Supreme Court, Warren served in various positions, including state attorney general and governor of California. He unsuccessfully ran for vice president as Thomas Dewey’s running mate in 1948. In 1952, he lost the Republican nomination for president to Dwight D. Eisenhower. Once in office, however, Eisenhower appointed Warren chief justice of the Supreme Court upon the death of Fred Vinson. In 1954, Warren issued the Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka overturning the “separate but equal” doctrine established by Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896. Warren presided over a number of other historic cases, including Miranda v. Arizona, which established the rights of accused criminals. Warren also chaired the commission that investigated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The decisions of the Warren court radically advanced civil rights for African Americans and reinforced First Amendment rights and civil liberties. Warren retired from the Supreme Court in 1969.

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