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The Honorable G. Wix Unthank

The Honorable G. Wix Unthank , is a 1940 graduate of Loyall High School.  Judge Unthank was born in 1923 in Tway. He was the son of Green W. Unthank and Estelle Howard Unthank, who were one of Harlan County’s oldest families.

Immediately after graduation from high school, he served as a paratrooper in the US Army. He served in World War II as a member of the 509th Paratrooper Battalion, and was a recipient of the Purple Heart along with a Meritorious Achievement medal as a result of an injury he received in 1943 from a German hand grenade after paratrooping into enemy territory.

He did his undergraduate work at the University of Kentucky, including two years of law school, and received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami at Coral Gables, FL in 1950. He then passed the bar in Florida and Kentucky and began the private practice of law at Cumberland.

Judge Unthank is married to Marilyn Ward Unthank. Residents of Harlan, they are longtime members of the Harlan Presbyterian Church.  

He held several judgeships during his career, including Harlan County judge from 1951 to 1958; Private practice attorney for 28 years, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky from 1966-1969; Commonwealth Attorney from 1979-1980, U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Kentucky in Pikeville from 1980-1987 and senior judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky in London. He continues to serve the judicial system today.

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