|Born||Gilbert Roland Hill
November 5, 1931
Birmingham, Alabama. U.S.
|Died||February 29, 2016
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
|Cause of death||Pneumonia|
|Occupation||Police officer, part-time actor|
|Spouse(s)||Delores Hooks (m. 1955; d. 2015)|
Gilbert Roland "Gil" Hill (November 5, 1931 – February 29, 2016) was the President of the Detroit City Council. He was also a Detroit police officer and part-time actor, gaining recognition for his craft in the Beverly Hills Cop movie franchise.
Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Hill was the son of Mary Lee Hill, who raised him and his sister Toni, alone. In the 1940s, Hill moved with his mother and sister to Washington, D.C. Hill attended Cardozo High School, graduating in 1949. Hill had wished to attend Howard University, but was not able due to strained financial resources.
Instead, Hill joined the United States Air Force in 1950 and was stationed at Selfridge Air Force Base near Detroit. After leaving the Air Force in 1953, he returned to the Detroit area, where he worked a number of jobs for the next four years.
Law enforcement career
Hill joined the Wayne County Sheriff's Department in 1957, but quickly became disillusioned with the slow pace.
In 1959 he moved to the Detroit Police Department. In 1969 he was promoted to detective and was assigned to the homicide division the following year. Over the next decade, Hill rose to national attention for his ability to obtain confessions out of the most notorious killers. He was involved in the investigation surrounding the Atlanta Child Murders in 1979 that ultimately resulted in the trial and conviction of Wayne Williams.
Hill was promoted to the rank of Inspector in charge of the Homicide Division by 1982, and in 1989, retired from the Detroit Police Department at the rank of Commander. Following his retirement from police work, he became a councilman for Detroit, becoming its president in 1997, and running unsuccessfully for mayor against Kwame Kilpatrick in 2001. He was initially considered to be the leading candidate, and had support from many people connected with incumbent mayor Dennis Archer.
Already a nationally-prominent figure through his success in law enforcement, Hill rose to worldwide fame when he appeared in the Beverly Hills Cop films, playing the role of Inspector Todd, the boss of Eddie Murphy's character Axel Foley. Offered other acting work after the film's release, Hill declined to pursue acting as a career, but did appear in the two subsequent sequels of the movie, saying that the only difference between his famous character's life and his own was that he didn't curse as much in real life.
Personal life and death
Hill married Dolores Hooks, who sang in a local church choir, in 1955. They remained married until her death in 2015. They had two sons and a daughter, along with three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
- Gil Hill, movie star and ex-Detroit councilman, dies, Detroit Free Press, February 29, 2016.
- Article on Hill's run
- New York Times
- Former Detroit City Council President Gil Hill dies at 84, WJBK Fox 2 Detroit.