Judge Greg Mathis, 62, was presented with a star on the iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame, Wednesday.
Mr. Mathis, host of the Daytime Emmy Award-winning nationally syndicated, Judge Mathis, was joined by family, friends, TV executives, for the star unveiling.
“It is my hope that this most prestigious honor of my career would bring hope to the many people who are inspired by my journey, right as they step over me,” Judge Mathis said.
There were numerous guest speakers at the special event along the Hollywood Blvd where they talked about Mr. Mathis’ impact on their life and in society.
“I wouldn’t have missed this for anything in the world,” said Smokey Robinson. The fellow Detroit native and legendary music producer spoke at the podium beside Mr. Mathis. He was excited to be in attendance and witness his longtime family friend be recognized. “I want all the kids to look at him as an example. My brother would’ve been a thug, who changed his life around and became a judge, so it can be done.”
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce selected Judge Mathis who now receives the 2,722nd star on the popular L.A. Boulevard.
Other stars expressed their congratulatory remarks red carpet unveiling, including another Michigan native, former basketball star and businessman, Majic Johnson. “The real story behind Greg is the fact that he has touched and saved so many people’s lives by his story but also by him reaching back and giving back especially when you think about the state of Michigan.”
“Today there is a lot of hope, because people who have the same background as you know that they can achieve greatness as well. This is Black excellence, today,” Johnson added.
In an interview with Michigan Chronicle, Judge Mathis sees the star recognition as a culmination of a journey that began for him in Detroit and a journey that continues.
“I’m proud for myself and for Detroiters and particularly for my grandchildren who will be able to bring their friends up Hollywood Blvd. for a couple more generations and show them their grandad’s star and name.”
Mr. Mathis understands the nature of entertainment where some people have activated getting this type of spotlight, but for the native Detroiter, he says he never sought after the honor and still sees himself as the community advocate, he has always been before the fame.
“I don’t consider myself as a celebrity, I consider myself as a retired judge who happens to be on television.” he adds.
As a young man, Mathis was involved in street gangs, dropped out of school, and spent time in jail. He promised his dying mother he would turn his life around. As he prepared to witness and the appreciate the Hollywood star recognition, he recounted from his humble beginnings.
“I was prepared for the transition, the transformation in my life and that was through a early childhood quality education.” Mr. Mathis recalls attending Christan school where during that time he remembers his mother instilling the importance of education and values. He used this foundation as the blueprint and preparation for changing his life around following the promise he made to this mother.
Mr. Mathis would go on to attend Eastern Michigan University and after college began his first job as an intern for Detroit City Council.
He would later start a youth agency outside the Herman Gardens housing projects to help his fellow troubled peers.
“It’s the journey that has been most fulfilling to me …it became a bit surreal once television came. I still haven’t been able to get my arms around the television success. I still look at myself as lil ol’ Greg Mathis in the community trying to help.”
After Mathis earned his law degree, he came the youngest judge in Michigan’s history, he also served as a Superior Court judge for the state’s 36th district.
“Thank GOD Detroit believed in me because when I ran for judge I came under attack for my criminal background. Much of Detroit said he’s the one we need there because he knows our youth, he cares.” When it comes to taking a second chance on a youthful Mathis, he believes, “it wouldn’t have happen in any other city,” except Detroit.
His distinctive persona, humor, and commitment to social and equal justice have been the hallmark of who he is on and off the television screen. His hit show, Judge Mathis has been on the airwaves for over 20 seasons, exciting viewers from across the country.
Soon, Judge Mathis will star in a new reality-TV show, Mathis Family Matters, spearheaded by his son Amir Mathis. “It will be uplifting and fun. It shows a Black family of professionals, how we relate to the community, and the challenges we (family members) all have, the obstacles outside the show that are discussed and disclosed.
The new series premieres June 19th on the E! network.