Raymond G. Nathan was born in 1918 in Youngstown, Ohio. His family moved to Miami in 1919. He attended elementary school in Miami and graduated from Miami Edison High School in 1934. He attended the University of Florida and the University of Miami and received his LL.B. degree from the University of Miami Law School in 1941.
He began practicing law in 1941. During World War II, he enlisted in the Coast Guard, ascending to the rank of chief petty officer. He was selected by Legal Officer Charles Carroll, who later would also serve as a Third District judge, to be chief assistant legal officer in the Coast Guard Seventh Naval District.
He married Helen Williamson in 1943. The couple had four daughters. In his private life, Judge Nathan was active in civic and community affairs. He was president of the University of Miami Law Alumni Association and of the Pi Lamda Phi Alumni Association of South Florida. He also was highly regarded as a formidable tennis player.
After the war, Judge Nathan resumed the private practice of law until being selected to serve as a judge on the Small Claims Court by Governor Dan McCarty. He held that position until being elevated to the Dade Circuit Court by Governor Haydon Burns in 1966. While a Circuit Court Judge, he frequently sat as an associate judge at the Third District.
Judge Nathan was appointed to the Third District in 1974 by Governor Reubin Askew, filling the vacancy left by Judge Carroll, when he retired from the Court. During Judge Nathan’s time on the Third District bench, he authored nearly 200 opinions, which appear in Volumes 300 through 363 of the Southern Reporter, Second Series.
Judge Nathan died in office on August 10, 1978. He was survived by his wife of thirty-five years, Helen, their daughters and three grandchildren.