Georgia Appeals Judge, Former Insurance Department Counsel, Dies Unexpectedly

A Georgia Court of Appeals judge and former attorney for the state Department of Insurance has died at age 64.

Judge Clyde Reese died on Saturday, the court announced, saying he died unexpectedly after a short hospital stay. No cause of death was given.

Reese was appointed to the 15-judge court in 2016 by Gov. Nathan Deal, then won winning election to a six-year term in 2019.

Gov. Brian Kemp will appoint a replacement.

Reese and two cousins were among the first Black students to attend Pace Academy, an Atlanta private school, in 1969. The three became the first Black students to graduate from the school in 1976.

Reese (Georgia Public Radio)

After graduating from Georgia State University, Reese worked with his family’s real estate firm. He then enrolled in Mercer University’s law school, going to work for state government in 1996 after receiving his law degree. He was counsel for the Department of Insurance, the state’s Subsequent Injury Trust Fund, and the State Health Planning Agency, and was later named commissioner of the Department of Community Health.

Reese practiced privately from 2003 to 2007, returning to state government in 2007 as general counsel of the Department of Community Health. Gov. Sonny Perdue appointed him commissioner of the department in 2010. In 2011, Deal named him commissioner of the Department of Human Services, returning him to community health commissioner in 2013.

Reese, a Lithia Springs resident, had five children and three grandchildren. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

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