A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was unveiled Wednesday honoring Greg Mathis for his 23 years presiding over his Emmy-winning courtroom program and his philanthropy.
“It is my hope that this — the most prestigious honor of my career — will bring hope to the many people who are inspired by my journey right as they step over me,” the 62-year-old Mathis said at the 11:30 a.m. ceremony which was also attended by International Boxing Hall of Fame member Sugar Ray Leonard and Baseball Hall of Famer Dave Winfield.
Basketball legend Magic Johnson and singers Smokey Robinson and Johnny Gill, who like Mathis are from Michigan, preceded Mathis in speaking.
“The real story behind Greg is he’s touched and saved so many people’s lives by his story but also by reaching back and giving back,” said Johnson, who said he watches “Judge Mathis” “every single day at 2 o’clock.”
The star at 7076 Hollywood Blvd., between Sycamore and La Brea avenues, was the 2,722nd since the completion of the Walk of Fame in 1961 with the first 1,558 stars.
Mathis was a gang member in his native Detroit and arrested numerous times. He was released from jail on early probation after his mother was diagnosed with colon cancer. Mathis began working at McDonald’s and was admitted to Eastern Michigan University, and he discovered a new interest in politics and public administration.
In college, he led campaigns against South Africa’s apartheid policies and for voter registration. After graduating he became an assistant to Detroit City Councilman Clyde Cleveland and attended law school at night.
Mathis was elected a district court judge in 1995, the youngest in the state.
“Judge Mathis” is a four-time Daytime Emmy nominee for outstanding legal/courtoom program, winning in 2018. Mathis is known for mixing social commentary, humor and humanity and using the bench to provide resolution and counseling to litigants.
Mathis’ 23 years as a judge in a courtroom program are the second-most, behind Judith Sheindlin, who spent 25 seasons on “Judge Judy” and is in her first season on its spinoff, “Judy Justice.”
In addition to “industry excellence,” philanthropy is another criteria to be honored with a star, said Ana Martinez, producer of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“Judge Mathis has shown to be a leader in this sector in many ways,” Martinez said.
Mathis opened the Mathis Community Center in Detroit as part of his efforts to reach out to youth and ex-offenders and has assisted thousands of youth with his non-profit organization Young Adults Asserting Themselves, which provides career, business start-up and job opportunities, job training and college enrollment assistance.
Mathis will soon be featured in a second series, “Mathis Family Matters” which follows him and his wife, Linda as two of their adult children move back to Los Angeles “to find their way and join the rest of the family,” according to E!, where the series will premiere June 19, Father’s Day.