Perez was born in New York City to a Polish mother and a Puerto Rican father. He attended Rutgers Law School. He did his undergraduate degree at William Paterson University and earned a master's degree in sport organization management from the International Olympic Committee's program at the University of Lyon, France. Perez became a city councilman and mayor for Foster City, California, where he is the owner of Gold Medal Martial Arts. He has earned his eighth degree black belt in taekwondo. He served as Chairman for the World Taekwondo Federation Education Committee and Vice Chair of the World Taekwondo Federation Technical Committee along with Steven Capener. Together they created and implemented the multi-tiered scoring system in place today along with the video review protocol.
Perez won bronze medals at both the 1987 and 1991 World Taekwondo Championships, and won the 1987 World Cup Championships in Helsinki. He was involved in a scoring controversy as the head of the Taekwondo team at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
He starred as himself (with the nickname "Olympus") on the 1995-1997 martial arts TV series WMAC Masters.
Herb Perez became a prominent critic of electronic scoring in the 2016 Summer Olympics taekwondo competition. His career and criticism were highlighted in a feature story in the September 2016 issue of Taekwondo Life Magazine called "Herb Perez: Modern Renaissance Man".
Perez was elected to the council of the City of Foster City in 2011. He was re-elected for another four-year term on November 3rd, 2015. He briefly served as Mayor and Vice-Mayor before being recalled on March 3rd, 2020 in the California Primary elections. Retired Police Chief and longtime Foster City resident Jon Froomin was selected to replace Perez on the council until the term for his seat expires in November 2020.
- "Herb Perez". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.
- "Olympic Gold Medalist Brings Complete Approach To Success". Delivering Happiness. July 12, 2012. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.
- "Who's Who: Herb Perez: Taekwondo". USAdojo.com. October 30, 2010. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
- "Foster City Council Member Bios: Herb Perez". Archived from the original on February 7, 2018.
- Gold Medal Martial Arts: About Master Perez. Retrieved on June 2, 2019.
- Kinney, Aaron (July 29, 2009). "Olympic gold medalist joins Foster City council race". East Bay Times. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
- Hayes, David C. (September 2016). "Grandmaster Herb Perez: Modern Renaissance Man". Tae Kwon Do Life Magazine. 2 (September 2016): 51–54. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
- "In Foster City, Kiesel, Perez and Okamoto hold election lead". The Mercury News. November 8, 2011.
- "Herb Perez recalled in Foster City". San Mateo Daily Journal. March 4, 2020.
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