In reality courtroom show business, only Judith Sheindlin’s Judge Judy comes before the retired judge of the 36th District Court of Michigan, Greg Mathis’ Judge Mathis. The former juvenile criminal judge was able to build a career as a referee with the Day Emmy Award after he was appointed district judge as to the youngest person in Michigan.
Beginning in September 2018, the syndicated Judge Mathis show, which judges low-value disputes, entered its 20th season, as the man in the robe continues to be a prominent leader within the black American community through various other works.
Judge Mathis was born as Gregory Ellis Mathis, the last of four boys of Alice Lee and Charles Mathis. He was born on April 5, 1960, in Detroit, Michigan. After his parents divorced when he was a toddler, Mathis was raised by his mother alone in the housing projects of Herman Gardens. When Mathis entered his teenage years, his mother moved away from the neighborhood to protect her son from the growing gang violence in the area and drug use.
Unfortunately, the move came a bit too late because he was already involved with the notorious Detroit street gang Errol Flynns. As a teenager, Mathis became a full-fledged member of the gang and began to run a few times into trouble with the law, which led to his arrest and imprisonment. In prison, Mathis, who was about 17 years old, found out that his mother had been diagnosed with colon cancer. Her condition as well as good behavior and other things led to him being offered early parole so that he could spend some time with his sick mother.
After his release, Mathis accepted a position at McDonald’s before he was later accepted into Eastern Michigan University. As a student at EMU – Study of Public Administration – Mathis discovered his interest in politics and therefore invested heavily in school political activities. Soon after, he began working for the Democratic Party, where he organized and participated in several demonstrations against civil rights issues, both local and foreign, such as South African apartheid policies.
Judge Mathis graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration before he found a job at Detroit City Hall. A few years later he returned to the school, this time to the University of Detroit School of Law to study law. He received his Juris Doctor degree in 1987 but was denied admission to the bar because of his criminal past. This did not stop him from continuing to apply until he was finally granted one. In 1995, Mathis was elected the youngest district judge ever to serve in Michigan in the 36th District of the State of Michigan.
Judge Mathis spent five years on the bench before retiring to launch his award-winning Reality Courtroom Show, while at the same time conducting several other activist actions, working as a motivational speaker, and writing a number of publications.
Judge Mathis Family – Wife, Son, Daughter
Judge Mathis has enjoyed the joys of a happy marriage since 1985. At that time he exchanged marriage vows with Linda Reese, the woman he calls his boss. Linda, who also attended Eastern Michigan University, met her future husband on campus in the early 1980s, shortly after he lost his mother. They managed to form a bond because she helped to balance his life in public and at home as he became more involved in activism.
Shortly after their marriage, the couple welcomed their first child, a daughter named Jade, born in May 1985, and two years later they had a second child, another daughter named Camara, born in October 1987. In the third attempt, the Mathis family welcomed a son named Greg Jr. who was born in January 1989. A year later, what turned out to be their last child, they had another son, Amir, born in July 1990.
Jade and Camara followed in their father’s footsteps to study law and are now both practicing lawyers. In 2015, the older of the two girls was appointed Assistant States Attorney for Prince George County, Maryland. It’s not clear what Greg Jr. is up to, but his younger brother Amir, who holds a bachelor’s degree from one of the best film schools in the country, Columbia College Chicago, has a behind-the-scenes role in his father’s show.