Judge Lacey A. Collier was born in Demopolis, Alabama, in June 1935 – the son of Dr. and Mrs. James P. Collier, M.D. After graduating from Saint Bernard High School in Cullman, Alabama, he studied aeronautical engineering for two years at the University of Alabama before entering the Navy flight training program as a NAVCAD in April 1955.
Upon earning his Wings Of Gold and designation as a Naval Aviator in August 1956, Judge Collier served with distinction for more than 20 years, retiring as a Lieutenant Commander in September 1975 in Pensacola, Florida. During his career, he logged more than 5,000 flight hours in 19 different aircraft models–fighters, light attack, helicopters, and transports, both multi and single engine, propeller and jet powered–including 450 carrier landings on 10 different aircraft carriers. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War, having flown 140 combat missions in the A-4 Skyhawk during two cruises with the Fighting Red Cocks of VA-22, earning 11 air medals and the Navy commendation medal. He was a Civilian Flight Instructor with ratings in single and multi engine–land, instrument, and gliders.
While in the Navy, Judge Collier received a bachelor's degree in Government (International Relations) in 1969 from the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, California, a master's degree in Political Science in 1972, and a bachelor's degree in Accounting from the University of West Florida in 1975. Following his retirement from the Navy, he attended Florida State University School Of Law, graduated with a juris doctorate with honors in 1977, and was admitted to the Florida Bar in May 1978.
He served as an Assistant State Attorney for the First Judicial Circuit of Florida from 1977 to 1984 when he was appointed by Gov. Bob Graham as a Circuit Judge for the First Judicial Circuit where he served until 1991. Now in senior status, he is serving as a United States District Judge for the Northern District of Florida, having been appointed to that position by President George H.W. Bush in November 1991.
An active and respected participant in the Pensacola community, Judge Collier has been honored as a Distinguished Alumni, University of West Florida (1988); Pensacola BIP Professional Leader of the Year (1989); received the God in Government Award (1991); the prestigious Kiwanis Club of Pensacola Civic Award (1994); and was President and elected as a Fellow of the West Florida Foundation (1996). He received the Sandra Robinson, “Service Above Self” Award (2006) from the Rotary Club of Pensacola; the Distinguished Service Award (Judicial) (2010) from the Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency; and the prestigious Peggy Pilcher Award (2011) from the Escambia County Council of PTAs.
Judge Collier is currently active with numerous civic and professional organizations, including the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation and has served as chairman of the Community Maritime Park Associates charged with the creation of the Vince Whibbs Community Maritime Park. His passion is the development and support of the Lacey A. Collier Snoezelen Sensory Complex at the Westgate School for special needs children.
Judge Collier has been married to the former Beverly Brady, who prides herself as a “Navy Wife,” for more than 55 years. They have three children, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. His hobbies have included skydiving, scuba diving, sailing, snow skiing and golf.