Clarence Cooper, 1990-1994
Born in Decatur, Georgia, on May 5,1942 to Herman & Hazel Cooper and reared in the Edgewood/Kirkwood area of Atlanta, Judge Clarence Cooper is a product of David T. Howard High School and a 1964 honors graduate of Clark College, where he majored in Political Science and History. In
1967, Judge Cooper was awarded a Doctor of Law Degree from Emory University School of Law, and has since been an active, innovative member of the Bar.
In 1976, Judge Cooper, who had already begun his legal career as a jurist, took a sabbatical from the City Bench to accept a fellowship to study at both Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While attending both of these eastern institutions of higher learning, Judge Cooper was awarded a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University and a Diploma from M.I.T. for a research paper and project on the "Judiciary and Its Budget."
Judge Cooper has held numerous jobs within the legal profession. Shortly after his graduation from law school, he was hired by the Atlanta Legal Aid Society. He achieved a significant milestone in his legal career when, in 1968, he was hired by the Fulton County District Attorney's Office as an Assistant District Attorney. In 1975, he was appointed to the City of Atlanta's Municipal court bench by the Mayor of the City. In 1980, Judge Cooper displayed his political knowledge and skill by successfully winning a seat on the Fulton County Superior Court Bench.
Judge Cooper has held memberships on many outstanding civic boards and organizations, locally, nationally, and internationally. In 1986, as a member of the Friendship Force, Inc., (an international board) Judge Cooper led a delegation of Georgians on a historic mission to the Soviet Union. While in the Soviet Union, the members of Judge Cooper's delegation became the first Americans to live in the homes of ordinary Russian citizens.
In connection with the 1987 Bicentennial Celebration, Judge Cooper was chosen to participate in a historic panel discussion on the First Amendment and its application to a fair trial/free press. This panel discussion was taped and aired on C-SPAN.
As a trial court judge, Judge Cooper is well-respected and has been the recipient of many accolades in recognition of his outstanding judicial ability and temperament. He has presided over many highly-publicized, controversial cases, one of which drew world-wide attention just a few years ago. He is married to the former Shirley Elder and they have two children.
Most recently, in February 1990, Judge Cooper was appointed by Governor Joe Frank Harris to fill a vacancy on the Georgia Court of Appeals and a few months later, ran a successful campaign and was elected statewide to retain that seat for a six-year term beginning January 1991.