"Leaders aren't born, they are made. And they are made, just like anything else, through hard work." - Vince Lombardi BIOGRAPHY

The Honorable Bobby Peters passed the state bar exam several months prior to graduating from law school, which very few lawyers have accomplished. He managed this while working full time as Director of the Police Academy where he trained police officers or, as Bobby calls them, our city's "domestic soldiers." After working all day, he drove to Atlanta to attend night classes in law school and graduated near the top of his competitive class.

Bobby has over thirty years of experience in law and has incredible depth of knowledge and expertise in all areas of our criminal justice system. He has upheld the law as a detective with the Muscogee County Sheriff's Department, and taught law as a professor of criminal justice at Southern Union State College and as Director of the Regional Police Academy in Macon. He has been in law practice since he first became member of the State Bar of Georgia since 1979.

In addition to his service to enforcing the rule of law, he has a very distinguished career as an elected official. He was elected to city-wide seat as a member of the Columbus City Council in 1994; after twelve years as a city councilor, he was elected for two consecutive terms as the Mayor of Columbus as well as Safety Director of the city, which is the first consolidated government in Georgia. His first term as mayor began in 1994 after he won election in a field of six candidates without a runoff. He won every minority precinct in the city despite running against two minority candidates. His extraordinary win with six candidates could be attributed to his open law practice to all segments of the community; his sincere empathy for people of all walks of life; and his leadership and community service. He was elected to a second four-year term as mayor in 1998 without any opposition and became the first mayor in the history of the Consolidated Government to be elected to two consecutive terms. Community leaders said Bobby would easily have won a third term as Mayor if the city charter did not prevent him from running again. During his tenure as mayor, Columbus experienced tremendous growth without a property tax increase, as well as the creation of thousands of new jobs, public-private partnerships, and initiatives based on unifying the city by giving each of its citizens a voice in government. Under the city charter, the mayor also holds the position of Safety Director in charge of the police department, the fire department, the emergency medical system, and the correctional institute.

The Honorable Bobby Peters once again commits himself to the common good by serving the people of Columbus. He has practiced law in the same historical home since 1979, where Bobby and then Attorney John Allen—now a Superior Court Judge himself—began the first bi-racial law firm in the city in the same historic district across the street from the Government Center. In 2003, Bobby and Judge John Allen were honored by the city for their personal endeavors on improving race relations with their tremendous contribution in promoting equality and fairness.

Bobby was born February 21, 1949 and graduated from Hardaway High School in 1967, and then earned an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice, B.S., and a post-graduate degree in Education, M.A.—both at Columbus State University. He graduated with a J.D. from Woodrow Wilson Law School in 1979, while working full time for the people of Columbus.

While practicing law, he has helped many people who cannot afford an attorney and has been honored by eighteen different organizations earning the title "The People's Advocate." He was also chosen as one of only ten elected officials in the nation and the only one from Georgia to represent the United States of America in a governmental exchange program with Australia. Bobby was also honored as the first American citizen to be named "Ambassador of Goodwill" for The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, WHINSEC, which was formerly known as the School of the Americas. In 2002, Bobby was personally presented the "Order of Saint Maurice" by General Paul Eaton, Commander of Fort Benning, which is regarded as the best Army installation in the world. This is the highest award given to a civilian by the military. The cooperation and assistance between Columbus and their neighbor, Fort Benning, was greatly enhanced during the eight years Mayor Peters was in office and as City Councilor when he led the effort to build the "Eternal Flame" memorial for veterans who have died protecting freedom around the world.

Bobby is a member of Calvary Baptist Church and has two daughters, Kelly and Jennifer. His dad was killed in an automobile accident while he was a freshman in law school and to this day he takes care of his mom who is legally blind and deaf.

Bobby has a special passion for the law and for our public safety employees. That passion was highlighted when his dear friend and classmate in law school, police officer Neal Bowers, was shot and killed during an armed robbery, just one month after Neal and Bobby took the bar exam together. Bobby had the honor of dedicating the graduation to "Attorney" Neal Bowers. As a former law enforcement officer, Judge Bobby Peters knows how difficult the job is. He has represented law enforcement officers, firemen and women, persons with disabilities, and many others free of charge.

You can count on Bobby to always tell you what he thinks and do what he says. In all his years of practice, he never had a complaint filed against him with the State Bar. He always works his hardest to achieve the best results for his clients and to ensure quality of work in all that he does.

Written by J. Edward "Ed" Wilson, the highly-respected Chief of Staff for the Office of the Mayor in Columbus during both of Bobby's consecutive terms as mayor. Edited by Leonard Tengco, a law student at Michigan State University College of Law.