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The Georgia State Patrol To Pay Tribute To The First Black State Trooper

Retired Maj. Robert Hightower, who retired in 1998 after 28 years of service with the Georgia Department of Public Safety, died on Sept. 18, 2020.
Retired Maj. Robert Hightower, who retired in 1998 after 28 years of service with the Georgia Department of Public Safety, died on Sept. 18, 2020.
Credit Georgia State Patrol

Updated Friday at 5:09 p.m.

Georgia’s first Black state trooper will be laid to rest Saturday in Atlanta.

Retired Maj. Robert Hightower leaves behind a legacy of leadership.

Hightower was hired by the Georgia State Patrol on July 13, 1970.

For more than 34 years, he provided executive security detail for Judges, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. and his family, and government officials.

During the 1996 Olympic Games, Hightower was the venue commander at the Joint Coordinating Center in Atlanta.

He retired in 1998 after 28 years of service with the Georgia Department of Public Safety.

During that time he received numerous leadership awards.

Hightower was married to Betty Jean Wright for 58 years. They have two children and three granddaughters.

He was a member of Hoosier Memorial United Methodist Church in Atlanta and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.

The Georgia State Patrol will pay a final tribute to Hightower as troopers from Troop-C provide a funeral escort for the family.

The GSP Honor Guard will also serve as pallbearers during the funeral service at New Calvary Missionary Baptist Church.