Fulton County

Longtime Fulton County judge passes away at 82

ATLANTA — Atlanta has lost a fixture in city politics.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

Former Fulton County Judge Marvin Arrington Sr. passed away on Wednesday, his family said in a statement.

Arrington was one of Emory Law School’s first black graduates in the ‘60s. He joined Atlanta City Council in the 70s, lost a bid for mayor in the late 90s, and became a superior court judge in 2002.

At only 28 years old, he was encouraged to run for the Atlanta Board of Alderman. He won the seat and in 1980, he was elected president of the Council, which he held for 17 years.

The Atlanta City Council reminded those who are morning Arrington’s passing that he served as an inspiration to the community.

“A man of exceptional leadership who served as both Council president and a Fulton County Superior Court judge. He excelled in both roles and always demonstrated a strong commitment to public service. Judge Arrington’s life serves as an inspiration to the community,” the organization said.


Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens expressed his condolences, saying Atlanta has “lost a lion.”

“I cannot, at this moment, think of a single person who loved Atlanta more than he loved us. And we will always be grateful that he indeed ‘wouldn’t stay in his place.’ If it is true that love ought to look like something, then Judge Arrington’s love of Atlanta came in the form of working hard to see his hometown grow into its greatness and pushing us to be better, to do better. Yet he never asked more of us than he was willing to give,” Dickens said.

The South Fulton Police Department also expressed heartfelt gratitude for Arrington saying in a statement:

A true pillar of our community, Mr. Arrington was a force to be reckoned with in the Metro Atlanta area, leaving an indelible mark on the lives of countless individuals. As we reflect on his life, we are reminded of his unwavering dedication to the South Fulton Police Department. Mr. Arrington was not just a friend; he was a staunch advocate, always ready to lend a helping hand and work tirelessly to ensure the safety and well-being of our community. His impact on the citizens we serve cannot be overstated.

Mr. Arrington Sr. embodied the spirit of unity, compassion, and selflessness. He had an unmatched ability to bring people together, bridging gaps and fostering a sense of belonging within our community. His unwavering commitment to justice and equality inspired all who knew him and left an indelible legacy that will continue to resonate for years to come.

He was 82 years old.

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]