Atlanta political and legal leader Marvin S. Arrington Sr. will lie in state inside the Atlanta City Council chamber and will be celebrated with a homegoing service at Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Starting today at 10 a.m., Arrington will be honored by city leaders who will discuss his contributions as a council member. The Council chamber was named in honor of Arrington in 2019.
In 1967, Arrington was elected to the Atlanta Board of Alderman (now Atlanta City Council). He was the youngest Black person to ever serve on the board at that time. After serving for 11 years, he was named as the president in 1980. He maintained the position for 17 years.
Arrington was appointed to Fulton County Superior Court judge in 2002 and continued in that role for 10 years before retiring.
On Friday, a celebration of life will be held at Ebenezer Baptist Church. The services will be broadcast live on the Council’s website and social media platforms.
A documentary about his life, “Bo Legs: Marvin S. Arrington, Sr., an Atlanta Story,” is currently available to be purchased or streamed.
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens shared his thoughts in statement:
“Making My Mark: The Story of a Man Who Wouldn’t Stay in His Place.”
That is what Marvin Arrington, Sr. titled his autobiography, and it could not have been more fitting.
Judge Arrington has passed and Atlanta has lost a lion.
I cannot, at this moment, think of a single person who loved Atlanta more than he loved us. And we will always be grateful that he indeed ‘wouldn’t stay in his place.’ If it is true that love ought to look like something, then Judge Arrington’s love of Atlanta came in the form of working hard to see his hometown grow into its greatness and pushing us to be better, to do better. Yet he never asked more of us than he was willing to give.
He was Atlanta through and through. A ‘Grady Baby,’ Judge Arrington graduated from Clark College and later became one of Emory University Law School’s first Black graduates. He served on the Atlanta Board of Aldermen, and later as president of the Atlanta City Council. He was an accomplished lawyer and Superior Court Judge.
I am honored to call him my Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity brother and I am honored to have known him as one of the exceptional leaders of Atlanta.
On behalf of this entire city, I am sending my sincere and heartfelt condolences to his son Marvin Jr., daughter Michelle, and the entire Arrington family. We pray that a merciful God grants you comfort and peace during this difficult period.
The Atlanta City Council issued the following statement:
“Today, we gathered in the Council Chamber to remember and celebrate the life of Marvin S. Arrington Sr., a beloved leader who dedicated his life to serving our community. As we say goodbye to this remarkable man, we reflect on his lasting impact and the countless lives he touched during his distinguished career. He had an unwavering commitment to public service and set a shining example for us all with his brilliance, tenacity, and candor. As the Council’s president, he brought people together to address the challenges and opportunities facing our city. He brought this passion for service to the judiciary during his remarkable tenure as a judge on the Fulton County Superior Court. He will be forever missed, but his legacy will endure.”
The complete service is available to view or download here.