Anna Pauline "Pauli" Murray was an American civil rights activist who became a lawyer, a women's rights activist, Episcopal priest, and author. After earning a master's degree in law at University of California, Berkeley, she became the first African American to receive a Doctor of Juridical Science degree from Yale Law School.
As a lawyer, Murray argued for civil rights and women's rights. NAACP Chief Counsel Thurgood Marshall called Murray's 1950 book, "States' Laws on Race and Color", the "bible" of the civil rights movement. Murray served on the 1961–1963 Presidential Commission on the Status of Women, being appointed by John F. Kennedy. In 1966, she was a co-founder of the National Organization for Women. Ruth Bader Ginsburg named Murray as a co-author of a brief on the 1971 case Reed v. Reed, in recognition of her pioneering work on gender discrimination. This case articulated the "failure of the courts to recognize sex discrimination for what it is and its common features with other types of arbitrary discrimination."
Drawn to the ministry in 1977, Murray became the first African American woman to be ordained as an Episcopal priest, in the first year that any women were ordained by that church.