They Cannot Fend for Themselves

That is why Marian Edelman became a top lobbyist for children

The path that led Marian Wright Edelman to become one of Washington's most unusual lobbyists began on April 5, 1968, the day after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Then a civil rights lawyer practicing in Jackson, Miss., Edelman had sought out a group of black teenagers, hoping to dissuade them from violence. But when she tried to warn them that looting and rioting in the streets "may ruin your future," one boy angrily shot back, "Lady, why should I listen to you? Lady, I ain't got no future."

Haunted by the boy's hopelessness, Edelman resolved to dedicate herself to providing...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!