In Memoriam: Ralph Gants

In Memoriam: Ralph Gants

Ralph D. Gants of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court died Monday, Sept. 14, following hospitalization from a heart attack. He was 65.

Born in 1954 in New Rochelle, New York, Justice Gants worked in the early 1980s as a special assistant to then-FBI director William Webster. In 1983, he became a prosecutor in the U.S. attorney's office in Boston, and served as head of the office's public corruption division from 1988 to 1991. Justice Gants was appointed as an associate justice of the court in 2009 and was sworn in as the chief justice in 2014. 

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said in a statement that Justice Gants “led the Supreme Judicial Court with intelligence, integrity and distinction” and that “his legacy as a judge and as chief justice is profound, and he will be sorely missed.”

A leader in the court, and a committed advocate for racial justice, Justice Gants had sought to explain troubling racial disparities in incarceration rates and commissioned an unprecedented study by Harvard Law School researchers, which was released last week.

Justice Gants leaves behind a powerful legacy of championing humanity and equality in the court system. He will be remembered for his intelligence, kindness, integrity, and commitment to upholding the law.

Read his Boston Globe obituary here.