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Mills Lane
Born Mills Bee Lane III
November 12, 1936 (1936-11-12) (age 73)
Savannah, Georgia
Other name(s) Judge Mills Lane
Occupation Retired television judge, former lawyer, and former boxing referee

Mills Bee Lane III (born November 12, 1936) is a boxing referee, and also a former boxer, judge, and television personality. He is best known for having officiated over several major heavyweight championship boxing matches in the 1980s and 1990s, and for starring in the television show Judge Mills Lane.

Contents

Biography

Lane hails from a prominent Georgia family: his grandfather founded the largest bank in Georgia, and his uncle (and namesake) was the president of Citizens & Southern National Bank. Lane, however, had other aspirations, and joined the United States Marine Corps in 1956, after his graduation from Middlesex School. He became a boxer while with the Marines, becoming the All-Far East welterweight champ. After leaving the Marines, he enrolled at the University of Nevada, Reno and became the NCAA boxing champion. He turned pro while in college, eventually earning an 11-1 record as a pro. He was in the 1960 Summer Olympics boxing finals held in San Francisco, California. He was defeated by Phil Baldwin in the semifinals.

Lane graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a business degree in 1963, then a few years later enrolled at the University of Utah to attend law school. Lane graduated as a lawyer, and later on became a prosecutor at the Washoe County district attorney's office in Reno.

Boxing referee

Lane refereed his first world championship boxing match in 1971, when Betulio Gonzalez had a fifteen-round draw with Erbito Salavarria for the WBC flyweight title. In 1979, he became Chief Deputy Sheriff of Investigative Services at the Washoe County Sheriff's Office. He was elected District Attorney in 1982 and District Judge in 1990.

Lane became a household name in the United States the night he refereed "The Bite Fight" rematch between world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield and challenger Mike Tyson on June 28, 1997. After Tyson bit Holyfield's ears twice, Lane disqualified him. Lane's shirt was stained with blood from the incident, and he sold it to a memorabilia collector on the same night.

Television

From 1998 to 2001 his court show, Judge Mills Lane, aired on national television. In addition to this show, the producers of MTV's Celebrity Deathmatch approached him about having his character and voice used in their show as the referee of their plasticine figure matches. Lane accepted the offer, and so also became an MTV personality. As a referee, Lane started boxing matches by declaring, "Let's get it on!", which became his catchphrase. This was reproduced in Celebrity Deathmatch as his character would shout the same phrase to initiate fights. Lane named his autobiography Let's Get It On: Tough Talk from Boxing's Top Ref and Nevada's Most Outspoken Judge.

Lane guest voiced on an episode of Buzz Lightyear of Star Command in which he played a judge.

After TV

After the fight between Thomas Hearns and Jay Snyder on November 6, 1998, Lane retired from being a boxing referee.

Stroke

Lane suffered a debilitating stroke [1] in March 2002 which left him partially paralyzed. He still has a great deal of difficulty speaking, which was the main reason why he did not voice himself for the remainder of the run of Celebrity Deathmatch. His character was now voiced by Chris Edgerly, who also provided the voice of Nick Diamond on the series. His adopted city of Reno celebrated him on December 27, 2004, proclaiming it "Mills Lane Day". In January of 2009, Lane made his first public appearance in years at the dedication of a new courthouse which is named after him.

External links

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