MMHMF Honoree

2010 Community Service Award
Judge Gregory is the first African American to sit on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.  The Fourth Circuit encompasses the States ofMaryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.  Judge Gregory was first nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit by President William J. Clinton on June 30, 2000.  After he did not get a hearing before the Senate, President Clinton appointed him to the Court by recess appointment on December 27, 2000.  On January 18, 2001, he took the oath of office and began sitting on the bench as an appellate judge.
Judge Gregory was re-nominated by President George W. Bush on May 9, 2001, and confirmed by the Senate for a lifetime appointment to the bench on July 20, 2001.  President Bush signed his Commission on July 25, 2001.  Judge Gregory is the only person in the history of the United States to be appointed to the United States Court of Appeals by two Presidents of different political parties.    
Judge Gregory was born on July 17, 1953.  He grew up in Petersburg, Virginia.  His parents, the late George and Fannie Gregory, worked at a local tobacco factory.  His parents instilled in him at an early age that with God and hard work, all things were possible.  The judge’s mother was a contemporary of Martha M. Hill and they worked in the same department at Virginia State College.

Judge Gregory graduated from Virginia State University in 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree, summa cum laude and the University of Michigan Law School in 1978 with a Juris Doctor Degree.  He holds honorary degrees from Virginia Union University, Virginia State University and Virginia Commonwealth University.  Judge Gregory taught Constitutional Law as an adjunct professor at Virginia State University from 1981 to 1985.

Judge Gregory began his legal career as an associate with the firm of Butzel, Long, Gust, Klein & Van Zile in Detroit Michigan.  He later associated with the firm of Hunton & Williams in Richmond, Virginia.  In 1982, he formed the law firm of Wilder & Gregory with L. Douglas Wilder.  Upon Wilder’s election as Governor of Virginia, Gregory became managing partner of Wilder & Gregory.  He served as managing partner and head of the litigation section of Wilder & Gregory until his appointment to the bench.

Judge Gregory is a member of the Michigan State Bar, Virginia State Bar,National Bar Association, American Bar Association, Old Dominion Bar Association (the oldest statewide bar of African American lawyers) where he served as President from 1990 - 1992, and the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference.  Judge Gregory was named a Fellow of the Virginia State Bar Foundation in 1992.  This honor is bestowed upon lawyers who have demonstrated excellence in the practice of law and contributed to the betterment of the Bar.

He served on the Brown v. Board of Education 50th Anniversary Commission, established by the President and Congress to commemorate that landmark decision.  He is a recipient of the National Bar Association’s prestigious Gertrude E. Rush Award and Equal Justice Award.

Judge Gregory is Past President of Friends Association for Children, Past Chairman of the Industrial Development Authority of Richmond, Past Rector of the Board of Visitors of Virginia Commonwealth University and served on the Board of Visitors of Virginia State University.  He has served on the Board of Directors for Richfood Holdings, Incorporated and the Board of Trustees for the Virginia State University Foundation.

By appointment of the Chief Justice of the United States, he serves as Chairman of the Judicial Conference Committee on the Administration of the United States Courts.  Judge Gregory currently serves on the Virginia State-Federal Judicial Council and the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award Committee.  He is currently Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Christian Children’s Fund and serves on the Board of Trustees for the Virginia Historical Society.

Judge Gregory has received numerous awards and recognitions to include the National Conference of Christians and Jews Humanitarian Award in 1997.  In the November 2001 issue of Ebony Magazine, he was recognized as one of the “56 Most Intriguing Blacks of 2001.”  In January 2002, he was presented The Pioneer Visionary Award from the National Black Student Leadership Development Conference.  In October 2007, Judge Gregory was honored when he received the Thurgood Marshall Award of Excellence from theThurgood Marshall College Fund, Inc. (TMCF).

Judge Gregory is an active member of Good Shepherd Baptist Church, in Petersburg, Virginia, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated, Alpha Beta Boulé.  He married his college sweetheart, Carla Eugenia Lewis, September 1980.  Three daughters, Adriene, Rachel and Christina, were born to their union.  There is one granddaughter, Kai. 
                                                Written by Rev. Dr. Harold Braxton 

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