Michael (Mike) Hancock
Michael Hancock is a native of Gainesville. He was one of a handful of black students who integrated the Gainesville City School System in 1965. In 1967, by dint of the alphabetical order in which graduating students were called, he became the first black student to receive a GHS diploma. He graduated from Georgia State University with a degree in Communications and thereafter worked as an investigator for the DeKalb County Juvenile Court. After two years there, he entered Emory University School of Law and earned his Juris Doctor degree in 1978.
After law school, Mike returned to his trailbreaker role when he became the first African-American hire in the Dekalb County Public Defender’s Office, the first as Chief Assistant Solicitor General, and the first black DeKalb County Superior Court judge. He retired as an active judge in 2012 and took senior judge status. He has since, when called upon, rendered judicial assistance to courts throughout the state of Georgia.
Mike and his wife of 52 years, Odessa, now reside in Banks County.