John H. Ruffin, Jr., 1994-2008 Chief Judge: 2005-2006
Presiding Judge John H. Ruffin, Jr. became the 62nd Judge of the Court of Appeals of Georgia when he was administered the oath of office by Governor Zell Miller on August 24, 1994, after 33 years of practicing law and serving on the superior court bench. Judge Ruffin was appointed a Superior Court Judge of the Augusta Judicial Circuit in 1986 by Governor Joe Frank Harris. He was elected without opposition in 1988 and continued to serve as Superior Court Judge until his appointment to the Court of Appeals.
In addition to being the first African-American Superior Court Judge for the Augusta Judicial Circuit, Judge Ruffin was also the first African-American member of the Augusta Bar Association, and the third African-American and first African-American Chief Judge to serve on the Court of Appeals of Georgia. Judge Ruffin was born and reared in Waynesboro, Burke County, Georgia, the son of John H. Ruffin, Sr. and Anna Davis Ruffin. Judge Ruffin is a graduate of Waynesboro High and Industrial School. He attended and graduated from Morehouse College and Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C. Judge Ruffin was admitted to the Georgia Bar on July 5, 1961.