Clarence Thomas was born in 1948 in Pin Point, Georgia, a small, predominantly black community near Savannah founded by freedmen after the Civil War.
He was the second of three children born to M. C. Thomas, a farmworker, and Leola “Pigeon” Williams, a domestic worker.
They were descendants of American slaves, and the family spoke Gullah as a first language. Thomas’s earliest known ancestors were slaves named Sandy and Peggy, who were born in the late 18th century and owned by wealthy planter Josiah Wilson of Liberty County, Georgia.
Thomas’s father left the family when Thomas was two years old. Though Thomas’s mother worked hard, she was sometimes paid only pennies per day and struggled to earn enough money to feed the family, and was sometimes forced to rely on charity.
After a house fire left them homeless, Thomas and his younger brother Myers were taken to live in Savannah with his maternal grandparents, Myers and Christine (née Hargrove) Anderson.
Is Clarence Thomas a liberal or conservative?
Clarence Thomas is often described as an originalist and as a textualist.
He is also often described as the Court’s most conservative member, though others gave Justice Antonin Scalia that designation while they served on the Court together.