Lorna Marshall was born in 1898 in the Phelps Dodge mining town of Morenci in the Arizona Territory. She graduated from the University of California-Berkeley as an English literature major. She was working on her doctorate and teaching at Mount Holyoke when she married Laurence Marshall. Among her contributions to racial equality and the war effort was to get a shift of black women working on an integrated Raytheon production line in 1943. After 1951, several anthropologists at Harvard helped Lorna Marshall prepare for her ethnographic work. Her contributions began when she analyzed the Ju/’hoan kinship system in 1952.