Who is Petri Hawkins-Byrd?

Petri Adonis Byrd was born on 29 November 1957. in Jacksonville, North Carolina, USA, and is a television personality, best known for serving as the bailiff in the program “Judge Judy”. He has been with the show throughout its entire run, making him the longest-serving bailiff in the history of a court show.

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The Riches of Petri Hawkins-Byrd

Petri Hawkins-Byrd has a net worth estimated to be over $3.5 million, consistently boosted by his salary, reportedly around $1 million annually thanks largely to his work in “Judge Judge”.

Aside from working on television, he also does a lot of event Master of Ceremonies (MC) duties.

Early Life, Education, and Career Beginnings

Petri is the youngest among five siblings, and while he was born in Jacksonville, his family later moved to Brooklyn, New York City, where he would grow up. He attended Southwest High School, and after matriculating, enrolled at the City University of New York located in The Bronx. He became a part of the Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College, which is known for their focus towards the Hispanic community.

The college was created to cater to the people of South Bronx, and has consistently grown since its establishment in the 1970s.

After graduation, he stayed in New York City and began working in the Court System as a court officer. In 1986, he was assigned to Manhattan, working in the Family Court division. During this time, he met and befriended Judge Judy Sheindlin, who would later become his career partner in “Judge Judy”. At the time, she was serving as the Supervising Family Court Judge for the area.

Petri Hawkins Byrd

Wanting to progress his career further, he enrolled at John Jay College, and took up a degree in criminal justice. The school is also a part of the City University of New York, and was the first college to focus on forensics and criminal justice in the US.

Path to Judge Judy

A year after completing his degree, he moved to California, the San Francisco Bay area in 1990, and found work with the US Marshals Service (USMS). It is a federal law enforcement agency established by George Washington during his presidency.

As a part of the job, their branch reports directly to the US Attorney General, and most of their operations handle fugitives and the management of criminal assets. He stayed with the Marshals until 1996, when he heard of Judge Judy being offered her television show. He wrote her a congratulatory letter and offered his services as a bailiff; she immediately took his offer, and the two began working together. “Judge Judy” is a reality court show featuring the titular judge, who started the show following her retirement from the Manhattan family court.

In the show, she presides over a simulated courtroom set, handling disputes which are mostly small claims. It runs as a part of CBS, and has been on the air since 1996 with over 24 seasons produced. During its run, it has been noted as the highest-rated courtroom program in the country, winning three Emmy Awards in the process.

Judge Judy Duties

As a part of “Judge Judy” Petri holds numerous duties as the court’s bailiff – his main role is to introduce cases to the judge, help with case numbers, swearing-in, and calling parties forward.

He also delivers materials, dismisses accused, and escorts them out once everything is over. In some episodes, he’s taken on a bigger role due to potential altercations which he has to control.

He has also been seen performing drug tests, and collaborating with parole officers of some of the litigants. One of the reasons his fame grew significantly is due to his nonverbal expressions which can be seen throughout each episode.

Despite having very few lines, this aspect of him has helped gain a lot of fans. He is also sometimes consulted on topics Judge Judy is not familiar with; he also corrects her if she makes a mistake.

Personal Life

Byrd is married to Felicia – they have four children, and reside in Elk Grove, California. During his free time, he takes on jobs such as a motivational speaker, and is often invited to do MC work too. He also supports several charities and is active within his community.

He is a part of the board of Teen Center USA which is a youth program focused on faith. He is also the national chairman of the OK Program, a program that helps with black adolescents and children. In response to people stating that it would be fun to be a litigant in “Judge Judy”, he responds strongly by stating that people should keep their love of and respect for the judicial system.

Author

Benjy is currently a reporter for BiographyPedia based in Adelaide, Australia. Prior to joining BiographyPedia in July 2019, he was a Bizarre TV reporter and theatre critic at TheSun. Benjy has also written for DailyMail and TMZ. Benjy studied journalism at Goldsmiths University of London, graduating in 2009. You can contact him at [email protected]

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