Mills Lane is a name that will be forever remembered as the legendary boxing referee. His famous “Let’s get it on” to start the boxing match is what perhaps everyone recalls when they hear the name.
On December 6, 2022, Mills Lane passed away. He was 85.
Let’s look at Mills Lane’s life, including his family, career, and achievements.
Mills Lane was born on November 12, 1937, in Savannah, Georgia, USA, to a very affluent family. You will be surprised to learn that his grandfather was the founder of one of the largest banks in Georgia.
Based on his date of birth, he was a Scorpio.
Mills Bee Lane III went to Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts. He was a guy who was more interested in sports than academics. He was gifted in sports, and the proof is that Lane played football as a linebacker and Ice Hockey as a goaltender for the Middlesex School team.
After completing high school, Mills Lane joined USMC (United States Marine Corps) in 1956. He completed his mandatory years of service during the Vietnam War. he was discharged in 1959.
Judge Mills Lane enrolled at the University of Nevada, Reno, to graduate with a business degree in 1963. His initial plans seemed to join a family business or perhaps have a stable white-collar job if things didn’t pan out. However, we must understand that referees’ pay wasn’t so great during that period.
Additionally, his father wanted him to join the family business. Still, he went ahead with his father’s wish after reading an article about the Nevada boxing team when he was in the marine.
Lane was inspired to become a boxer after listening to Joe Louis-Billy Conn on the radio as a teenager.
Mills Lane Career
Mills Lane started his professional career in boxing in the 1950s when he was in the Marines. He became the All-Far East Welterweight Champion in USMC. Additionally, the boxing referee became the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) welterweight boxing champion in 1960. However, he had his fair share of failures, too, as he was defeated by Phil Baldwin in the boxing semifinals in the US Olympic Trails for the 1960 Summer Olympics.
Now more determined to establish himself, Mills started boxing professionally while in college. He had a 10-1 (.909) record as a professional boxer.
Lane was multitasking. While working as a referee, he was studying and working in Law. For instance, he was attending S.J. Quinney College of Law, joining the bar in Nevada, and working as a referee.
His first big break as a boxing referee came in 1971 when he refereed the first WBC flyweight title match. It was a match between Betullo Gonzalez and Erbito Salvarria.
He went on to referee some big matches, such as Evander Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis vs. Henry Akinwande, and more. Additionally, he became the Chief Deputy Sheriff of Investigative Services at the Washoe Country Sheriff’s Office.
In 1982 he became the District Attorney of Washoe County and District Judge in 1990.
Moreover, he had a prominent career in television too. His court show Judge Mills Lane ran for three seasons from 1998-2001. In addition, he has appeared on MTV, where he used the infamous phrase “Let’s get it on!” to start boxing matches. He was the official referee for the show MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch.
Also, he has appeared on WWE Raw and was a guest voice actor on Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, where he played the judge in an episode.
Mills Lane was inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame and International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2013. Additionally, he won the NCAA boxing championship in the 1960s.
Mills has officially refereed more than 100 world-title matches.
Mill Lane’s family
Mill Lane married Kaye Pierce in 1980. They have two sons from the marriage, Terry and Tommy. He brought both of his sons to Las Vegas so that they could watch the world-title fight, too.
Mills Lane passed away at the age of 85
Mills suffered a stroke in March 2002, resulting in partial paralysis. Moreover, he was unable to speak, too. As a result, his health started declining.
On December 6, 2022, he passed away in Reno. His younger son, Tommy Lane, stated that after being in hospice for the past week, his body left the soul. He also stated that it was a quick departure and that he was surrounded by his family at the time of death.