JackIn honor of Black History Month, today I’m highlighting The Honorable John H. Ruffin, Jr.

Affectionately known to my children as Pop-Pop, John H. Ruffin, Jr. practiced law for 33 years before becoming the 62nd judge of the Court of Appeals of Georgia. He was a self-made man of many firsts on the judicial circuit, and a proud father and grandfather.

I chose to highlight Judge Ruffin, not only because of his life’s achievements, but because he was a lover of the written word. Like me, Judge Ruffin kept a notebook of ideas for his writing. After reading from one of many books in his vast collection, he often took to the pen to write down a quote here, or a funny anecdote there, that he would later use in one of his many speeches to either inspire his audience or evoke laughter, for he loved to make others laugh.

Through his life and death, he has given his grandsons the gift of perseverance. As my boys age, they learn something new about Pop-Pop’s life that continues to make them proud. He has paved the way for them to take the initiative and not fear pursuing their dreams. From his career of practicing law – to becoming the first African-American Superior Court Judge for the Augusta Judicial Circuit – to having a courthouse named in his honor, Judge Ruffin leaves a proud legacy.

Click the links above to learn more about The Hon. John H. Ruffin, Jr.