The Honorable Floyd L. Griffin, Jr., a Milledgeville native, has worn several significant hats throughout his lifetime such as Mayor of the city of Milledgeville, Georgia State Senator, U.S Army Colonel, and various others. Griffin was born in Milledgeville in 1944 and he holds an Associate of Science in Funeral Service from Gupton Jones College, a Bachelor of Science degree in Building Construction from Tuskegee University, and a Master of Science in Contract and Procurement Management from Florida Institute of Technology. In addition, he graduated from the Army Command and General Staff College as well as the National War College.
In 1967, Griffin joined the U.S. Army and served as a helicopter pilot, instructor pilot, and commander of a construction engineering company. Griffin is a Vietnam veteran, and during his time in the service, he completed a tour of duty in Germany. During his military career, he also was an Assistant Professor of Military Science at Wake Forest University and the ROTC director at Winston-Salem State University. While at Winston-Salem State University, he was a coach for the football team and assisted in their two college championship wins. In 1990, Griffin finished his esteemed military career and retired as a Colonel.
After moving home to Georgia, Griffin became the state senator from the 25th District and served for two terms. This election was significant because he was the first African American to represent a majority white district in the Georgia General Assembly. While a senator, Griffin sat on the Health and Human Services, Higher Education, Defense and Veteran’s Affairs, Local and State Government Operations, and the Rules Committees. He also served as Chairman of the Interstate Cooperation Committee.
After serving as a Senator, Griffin ran for Lieutenant Governor of Georgia in 1998, making him the first African American to run for that position in the 20th century. He was elected as the 67th Mayor of the city of Milledgeville and held the position for the 2002-2006 term. Following his win, Griffin was awarded The James Wimberly Racial Barrier Breaker Award in 2002 for the accomplishment of being the first African American Mayor of Milledgeville.
Griffin was the President and CEO of Slater’s Funeral Home in Milledgeville before his recent retirement in 2017, and he is a member of several community organizations. A few of the organization Griffin is a member of include The American Legion, Nations War College Association, Sigma Pi Phi, Omega Psi Phi, and the 100 Black Men Organization of Milledgeville and Baldwin County. He has also served on the Georgia Military College Board of Trustees, the National Conference of Black Mayors’ Board of Directors, the Georgia College Foundation’s Board of Trustees, and the President of Georgia Conference of Black Mayors. He was elected to the Board of Trustees for Tuskegee University in 2011 and currently serves on the Board of Visitors for Georgia College.
In 2009, an autobiography titled Legacy to Legend: Winners Make it Happen detailing Griffin’s life and accomplishments was published. Griffin’s oral history can be located in the HistoryMakers Collection at the Library of Congress.
Griffin is married to Nathalie Huffman Griffin, also a Tuskegee graduate, and they have two children, Brian and Eric Griffin. The Griffins have several grandchildren. Mrs. Griffin is responsible for collecting and organizing the press clippings, photographs, letters, speeches and other memorabilia into scrapbooks contained the the collection.