Nearly everyone has an impression of him — and most are mistaken. For, if they knew Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas better, they’d most likely be celebrating and naming streets after him.

Thomas is an American hero. Born to nothing, he grew up knowing only hard labor and unyielding discipline, episodes of deep faith, years of searing anger and stints as a seminarian and a college revolutionary. Ultimately, he graduated from Yale Law School and earned a seat on the highest court in the land.