Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

Arthur Goldberg 1908-1990

From an impoverished childhood on Chicago's west side, Arthur Goldberg rose to national and international prominence as U.S. Secretary of Labor, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and Ambassador to the United Nations. His wide-ranging career included service as an intelligence agent, a labor lawyer, and an influential figure in Democratic Party politics. Before resigning from his seat on the Supreme Court in 1965 to serve in the United Nations, Goldberg made his mark on the court with a groundbreaking opinion characterizing the death penalty as a violation of the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1978 from President Jimmy Carter.