Greg Mathis is about to overtake Oprah Winfrey in terms of daytime TV’s longevity record, as he finishes the 24th season of his successful show, “Judge Mathis”. 

However, aside from being a television court show arbitrator, author, and television producer, Judge Mathis is actually a real judge. Many fans have been wondering if he was legally a judge and it turns out that he is a former Michigan 36th District Court judge. 

Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert | Official Trailer | Paramount+

Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert | Official Trailer | Paramount+
The Judge Greg Mathis Hollywood Walk Of Fame Celebration
Photo by Monica Morgan/Getty Images

Mathis’s career as a judge

Outside of television, Mathis has an interesting past. According to Wikipedia, he began his political career as an unpaid intern, and then became an assistant to Clyde Cleveland, a city council member. During this time Mathis took the LSAT and applied to law schools where he was conditionally admitted to the University of Detroit School of Law.

He received his J.D. from the University of Detroit Mercy in 1987. 

His career as a lawyer kicked off in 1995 when he was elected a district court judge for Michigan’s 36th District, making him the youngest person in the state to hold the post.

Judge Mathis has won Emmy awards

Judge Mathis’s show has been running since 1999 and, in that time, it has won Emmy awards and has been labelled one of America’s best reality courtroom series. 

His program entered its milestone 20th season on Monday, September 3, 2018. Mathis boasts the longest reign of any African American presiding as a court show judge. Mathis is also the second longest serving television arbitrator ever, behind only Judith Sheindlin of Judge Judy and by three seasons according to Wikipedia.

From the success of his courtroom series, Mathis has also made a name for himself as a prominent leader within the African American community, providing “mentorship, charity and campaign efforts towards the advancement of African Americans.”

Mathis’s early life

Mathis was born in Detroit, Michigan and is one of four boys to his parents, Alic and Charles. However, Alice raised all four boys as a single mother through the 60s and 70s as Mathis’s dad was absent. 

He grew up in an area of Detroit and the family eventually moved away from the housing complex to avoid rising drug use and rates of violent crime.

Judge Mathis’s biological father was estranged from him but associated closely with the Errol Flynns, a past Detroit street gang, that Mathis would eventually join as a troubled teenager. 

In the 1970s, he was arrested numerous times. At just 17 he was incarcerated in Wayne County Jail which is where 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 and decided to turn his life around.



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