Mr. Thomas was born on June 23, 1948, in Pinpoint, Georgia, United States. He is the second child of M. C. Thomas and Leola Anderson. His father abandoned the family when he was two years old. When Thomas was six years old, his mother remarried, and he and his brother went to live with his grandfather, Myers Anderson, in nearby Savannah, Georgia. This marked a distinct improvement in their material conditions, from the dirt-poor community of Pinpoint, which lacked even sewer facilities, to the comfortable home of his grandfather, where Clarence Thomas and his brother now enjoyed regular meals and indoor plumbing. The move also placed him in the home of the man who would influence his life more than any other person. Myers Anderson made an independent living selling wood, coal, ice, and heating oil from the back of his pickup truck. He was a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and a devout Catholic who worked hard and insisted that his grandsons do the same.