George Franklin Coleman, Jr. was born in Winnsboro, South Carolina on August 21, 1918 to George Franklin Coleman, Sr. and Henree Buchanan Coleman. He graduated from Sidney Lanier High School in Montgomery, Alabama. He went on to attend the University of South Carolina, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1940 and his law degree in 1946. While at the University of South Carolina, he was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, the USC debating team, Kappa Sigma Society fraternity, Wig and Robe, and was selected for membership in “Who’s Who in American Colleges & Universities.”
His law school career was interrupted by World War II. He entered the United States Army as a private after Pearl Harbor, serving in the European and North African Theatres. He was honorably discharged as a Major in the United States Air Force in 1946 and returned to the University of South Carolina Law School and received his law degree in 1946.
He began practicing law in Winnsboro, South Carolina in 1947. He was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1948, served as Chairman of the Fairfield County Democratic Party, and President of the Fairfield County Jaycees. He was appointed as Solicitor of the Sixth Judicial Circuit by Governor George Bell Timmerman and was re-elected to this office three times, serving a total of 16 years as Chief Prosecuting Officer for the Sixth Judicial Circuit.
He was a member of the Executive Committee for the South Carolina Bar Association, Vice-President of the University of South Carolina Alumni Association, elected Circuit Court Judge in May 1975 for the Sixth Judicial Circuit and a Member of the Supreme Court Commission on Judicial Standards. He attended the National College of the State Judiciary at the University of Nevada, Reno in 1975 and the American Academy of Judicial Education at the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1978. He served continuously as a Circuit Court Judge until retirement in March 1984. Following his retirement, he farmed and raised cattle with his sons at Davis-Monticello Farms in Monticello, South Carolina.
He was a Member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Winnsboro, a former Vestryman and a Sunday School teacher. He was a former member of the Winnsboro Rotary Club and Chairman of the Fairfield County Library Commission, 1972–1975. During his tenure, plans were developed and funding was acquired for a new library building.
He is survived by his wife, Lucy Davis Coleman; four children, George Franklin Coleman III and wife, Patti; Amos Davis Coleman; Creighton Buchanan Coleman and wife, Marion, all of Winnsboro, South Carolina; one daughter, Lucy Coleman McCoy and husband, Peter of Hartsville, South Carolina, and eight grandchildren.