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Home | LawMakers | The Honorable Roger L. Gregory
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Color: Blue
Food: None
Quote: Is The Currency Reason Or Power?
Season: Fall
Vacation Destination: Beaches
Birthplace
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania United States
Interview Description:

Biography |

Interview Date: 12/9/2016

Judge Roger L. Gregory was born on July 17, 1953 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but raised in Petersburg, Virginia. He graduated from Petersburg High School in 1971, and enrolled at Virginia State University, where he was taught by Virginia’s first African American governor L. Douglas Wilder. Gregory graduated summa cum laude from Virginia State University in 1975, and went on to attend the University of Michigan Law School, where he earned his J.D. degree in 1978.

From 1978 to 1980, Gregory served as the first African American attorney at the law firm of Butzel, Long, Gust, Klein & Van Zile in Detroit, Michigan. In 1980, he moved to Richmond, Virginia, joining the staff of Hunton & Williams LLP. After two decades of legal service, Gregory was nominated by President Bill Clinton to be the first African American judge on the Richmond-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, but the Senate refused to hold Gregory’s confirmation hearing. He was then nominated to the same position by President George W. Bush and confirmed in 2001. As a judge, Gregory was involved with a number of high-profile decisions. In 2014, he joined the majority opinion on Bostic v. Schaefer, which overturned Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage. Also that year, Gregory authored the court’s unanimous opinion on King v. Burwell, which upheld tax subsidies for health insurance purchased on federal exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. In 2016, Gregory became the first African American chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Gregory was cast in stage productions of To Kill a Mockingbird at Richmond’s Barksdale Theater in both 2003 and 2013.

He received honorary degrees from Virginia Union University, Virginia State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Widener University, and Saint Paul’s College. He served as president of the Old Dominion Bar Association, and as a past rector and member of the board of visitors for Virginia Commonwealth University. Gregory served as an adjunct professor of Constitutional Law, and on the board of visitors of Virginia State University. Gregory has also served on the board of the John Marshall Foundation and the University of Richmond. He was the recipient of many awards, including the National Bar Association’s prestigious Gertrude E. Rush and Equal Justice Awards, the National Conference of Christians and Jews Humanitarian Award, the Thurgood Marshall Award of Excellence, and the William Green Award for Professional Excellence.

Judge Roger Gregory was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 9, 2016.

Speaker Bureau Notes: