Colbert sworn in as chief justice of state Supreme Court
BY BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau
Friday, January 04, 2013
OKLAHOMA CITY– Tom Colbert was sworn in Friday as the first African American chief justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
A graduate of Sapulpa High School, Colbert was appointed to the court in 2004 by former Gov. Brad Henry. He is the first African American to serve on the state's nine-member high court.
Prior to his service on the Supreme Court, Colbert served on the state Court of Civil Appeals.
Colbert earned a bachelor's degree in 1973 from Kentucky State University, where he was an All-American track and field competitor.
He served in the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged in 1975. He earned a master's in education from Eastern Kentucky University in 1976 and taught in Chicago public schools.
He earned a law degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1982.
He was assistant dean at Marquette University Law School from 1982 until 1984. He was an assistant district attorney from 1984 until 1986 in Oklahoma County. He had a private law practice from 1986 until 2000 in Oklahoma City.
Colbert's law school classmate, David B. Lewis, earlier this week began serving as the first African American presiding judge of the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, the state's high court for criminal matters.