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Marilyn Kelly Edit Profile

Marilyn Kelly, state supreme court justice. Named one of Michigan's 95 Most Powerful Women, Corp! magazine; recipient Distinguished Service award, Michigan Education Association, Eleanor Roosevelt Humanities award, State of Israel Bonds Attorney Division, 2003, Michael Frank award, State Bar Michigan, 2003.


Kelly, Marilyn was born on April 15, 1938.


Bachelor, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, 1960. Master of Arts, Middlebury College, Vermont, 1961. Juris Doctor with honors, Wayne State University, Detroit, 1971.

Doctor of Laws (honorary), Eastern Michigan University. Doctor of Laws (honorary), Michigan State University.


She was elected to two terms both on the Michigan Court of Appeals and as a Justice on the Michigan Supreme Court. Due to her being over 70 years old, Kelly was prohibited by the Michigan Constitution to seek re-election in 2012. Following Clifford Taylor's defeat in the 2008 elections, Justice Kelly was elected 4-3 to succeed him as Chief Justice of Michigan.

She held that position until 2011 when Robert P. Young, Jr. was elected by the justices of the court. Kelly is a Detroit native and 1956 graduate of Mackenzie High School. In late 1956, Marilyn Jean Kelly moved to Ypsilanti to begin undergraduate coursework at Eastern Michigan University.

She received her B.A. degree from E.M.U. in 1960. One year later, Kelly was awarded an M.A. degree in French Language and Literature from Middlebury College in Vermont. Following a brief stay in France, wrapping up her graduate studies at La Sorbonne - the University of Paris, Kelly spent five years teaching French in the Grosse Pointe public school system, Albion College and Eastern Michigan University.

Marilyn Jean Kelly also served on the Michigan State Board of Education during the 1960s. Later elected as President of the statewide organization. In 1971, Marilyn Jean Kelly graduated with honors from the Wayne State University Law School.

In 1988, Kelly was elected to the first of two consecutive terms on the Michigan Court of Appeals.


Board member Channel 56-Public television, Detroit, Women's Survival Center, Pontiac. Board vice president Detroit Institute of Technology. Member development committee St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Pontiac.

Member advisory committee Detroit Public Schools, Wayne County Community College, Oakland County Community College. Fellow: Michigan State Bar Foundation. Member: Women's Lawyers' Association Michigan (president), Women's Bar Association, American Arbitration Association (arbitrator), Oakland County Bar Association (chair family law committee, committee co-chair President's task force on improved dispute resolution).


Married Donald Newman.