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judge mathis
Judge Greg Mathis / TV personality.

Greg Mathis
Greg Mathis (born April 5, 1960) is a retired Michigan 36th District Court judge and syndicated television show judge. His show Judge Mathis is produced by Telepictures Productions, and distributed by Warner Brothers. It is seen five days a week in most television markets in North America. Mathis was born in Detroit, Michigan, was the fourth of four boys born to Ariel Montaņez, a Cuban native, and his wife Alice Mathis, a devoted Seventh-day Adventist, nurse's aide, and housekeeper. Mathis was raised by Alice and her second husband, a local defense attorney in Detroit during the turbulent 1960s and 1970s.

Mathis' real father was estranged from him, but associated closely with the Errol Flynns, a past notorious Detroit street gang, that Mathis would eventually join while a teenager. In the 1970s, he was arrested numerous times. While he was incarcerated in Wayne County Jail, as a seventeen-year-old juvenile, his mother visited him and broke the news that she was diagnosed with colon cancer. Mathis was offered early probation because of his mother's illness.

Once out of jail, Mathis began working at McDonalds, a job he had to keep in order to maintain his release on probation. A close family friend helped Mathis get admitted to Eastern Michigan University, and he discovered a new interest in politics and public administration. He became a campus activist and worked for the Democratic Party, organizing several demonstrations against South African Apartheid policies. He graduated with a B.S. Public Administration from the Ypsilanti campus and began to seek employment in Detroit's City Hall. He also became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Mathis met his eventual wife, Linda, a fellow EMU student, shortly after his mother's death. They would go on to have four children together.

Mathis failed the Michigan bar exam once, and had been denied a license to practice law for several years after graduating from law school because of his criminal past. He graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy in 1987. In 1995, he was elected a district court judge for Michigan's 36th District, making him the youngest person in the state to hold the post. During the five years he was on the bench, he was rated in the top five of all judges in the 36th District; there are about thirty judges each year.


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