Judge Thomas M. Gallen is Manatee County’s 2021 Distinguished Citizen

By Circuit Judge Gilbert A. Smith, Jr.; Photos provided by Ted West Photography

At a luncheon at the Manatee County Fairgrounds on January 7, 2021, Judge Thomas M. Gallen was recognized with the 2021 Distinguished Citizen Award by the Manatee River Fair Association.

Gallen received this award for his many contributions to Manatee County and its citizens. For many years, he served in the Florida legislature, first as a state representative and then as a state senator. Gallen then served as a circuit judge for more than 30 years during which time he also served as the circuit’s chief judge.

Judge Thomas Gallen
Judge Thomas Gallen is seen at the annual presentation of the Manatee River Fair Association's Distinguished Citizen award ceremony. TOP OF PAGE: Judge Gallen is shown with his family.

He also served on the boards of many organizations, which would not have been as successful without his involvement.

Gallen is the second judge to receive this award, with Judge Robert Hensley receiving the honor in 2001.

In 1956, the Manatee River Fair Association, in cooperation with the Manatee County Board of Commissioners, established the Distinguished Citizen Award to recognize citizens of Manatee County who had distinguished themselves by volunteering their time and making significant and meritorious contributions to Manatee County.

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