Gerald Gillerman was born on December 12, 1924, in Boston. He served in the Army during World War II and was severely wounded, losing most of his left leg in a mortar explosion in France shortly after D-Day. Following his return to the United States, he received his B.A., cum laude, from Harvard University in 1949 and his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1952. For thirty-eight years, Justice Gillerman worked in private practice. He also served as general counsel to Beth Israel Hospital and later as trustee of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
In 1990, Governor Michael Dukakis appointed Justice Gillerman to the Appeals Court. He served as associate justice until1994, when he reached the mandatory retirement age. He continued to serve this Court as a recall justice until 2002. His areas of expertise were health care, civil business matters and controversies, corporate governance, securities, and banking. Justice Gillerman passed away on November 15, 2011. The Appeals Court's Memorial to Justice Gillerman may be found at 82 Mass. App. Ct. 1125 (2012).