Burke Marshall is best known for his enormous influence on civil rights legislation as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in the Kennedy administration (1961-1965). Marshall played an integral role in the 1961 ban on segregation in interstate travel and the integration of the University of Mississippi. He also helped shape legislation for the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. Following his tenure as Assistant Attorney General, Mr. Marshall turned down a deanship at Yale University and eventually became General Counsel at I.B.M. By 1970, however, he returned to his law school, Yale, and he spent the rest of his career as a Professor of Law there. In 1986 he was named Nicholas de B. Katzenbach Professor of Law. He taught courses in constitutional law, federal jurisdiction, and political and civil rights.
Marshall served as the chair of the Vera Institute of Justice Board of Trustees between 1966 and 1986. He also chaired the Center for Employment Opportunities in 1996. In 1999 he received the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights. He died in 2003.