The first African-American judge to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado has died.
Judge Wiley Y. Daniel, 73, passed Friday, according to the Sam Cary Bar Association.
Daniel will be honored during the Sam Cary Bar Association homecoming event at 6 p.m., of which he’s been a member since 1977.
“As a longtime mentor to many students and practicing attorneys, Judge Daniel left a lasting legacy that will continue to live on through all of us,” said Joseph R. Whitfield, the association’s president, in a statement to FOX31 and Channel 2.
Daniel was appointed to the federal judgeship by former President Bill Clinton in 1995, and became the Chief Judge of the Court in 2008.
Deepest condolences to the Daniels family following the passing of our friend, mentor, exemplary public servant and beloved Federal District Judge honorable Wiley Daniels. Our hearts and souls were forever touched by this gentle giant of a man. Rest In Peace Judge Daniels.🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/oU1upJLt33
— Michael B. Hancock (@MayorHancock) May 11, 2019
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock both reacted to Daniel’s death on Twitter.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Federal District Judge Wiley Daniel. He was a great man and amazing community member. His legacy will live on forever. Rest In Peace Judge Daniel,” Polis tweeted.
Daniel is the only African-American to serve as the president of the Colorado Bar Association. He held that position from 1992-93. He also was president of the Sam Car Bar Association.
Daniel was an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado School of Law and the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.
“The University of Colorado Law School mourns the loss of Judge Wiley Daniel,” said S. James Anaya, dean of CU Law School in a statement to FOX31. “Judge Daniel was a strong supporter of the law school who for many years taught our students as an adjunct professor. As Colorado’s first African-American federal judge, he was a pathbreaker who inspired countless attorneys throughout our state. Judge Daniel was an outstanding member of our legal community, and the law school sends its deepest condolences to the Daniel family.”