John Griffin was an acclaimed author and photographer renowned for taking on the identity of a black man in 1960 and touring six segregated states as documented in his book Black Like Me. Hailed as an essential document of contemporary American life, the book garnered critical acclaim upon its release.
In the 1960s, Griffin served as a white representative for black America – an endeavor which he found uncomfortable. Additionally, he was active in the civil rights movement but his efforts were often met with scorn and violence.
Early Life and Education
John Griffin was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. His mother was a classically trained pianist while his father was an Irish tenor and radio personality.
Griffin completed his undergraduate studies in French and literature at the University of Poitiers before enrolling in medicine at France’s Ecole de Medecine.
In 1939, Hitler invaded Poland and Griffin joined the French Resistance to help smuggle Jewish children to England. Although his name ended up on a Nazi death list, he managed to flee just ahead of the Gestapo’s arrival.
After his return to the United States, Griffin quickly gained notoriety as a human rights activist. He advocated for racial tolerance and collaborated with Martin Luther King Jr., Dick Gregory, and Saul Alinsky on civil rights matters.
John Griffing is an expert in tax and estate law with over three decades of experience. His skillset includes planning transactions, resolving controversies with the IRS, as well as providing advice to businesses and individuals on tax and business issues.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a law degree with distinction (top 10% of graduating class in grade point average) from Wake Forest School of Law. Additionally, he received his master’s in business administration with distinction from Wake Forest’s Babcock School of Management.
Super Lawyers named him to their list for 2010-2011, based on peer review and professional achievement in the practice of law.
Achievements and Honors
John Griffing earned four-time All-SEC recognition during his football career at Ole Miss and led the Rebels to two Sugar Bowl wins. A member of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, he also achieved success as an accomplished writer and lecturer who produced two novels about his experiences during World War II.
One of the most remarkable achievements was his revolutionary invention of the spinal column, which has become a standard within modern medicine. Additionally, he has won numerous other accolades, including top honors in his field. When not working, he enjoys listening to Gregorian chant and reading history books avidly. A true connoisseur, he truly enjoys life’s finer things!
John Griffin’s life was an epic voyage of self-discovery. He wrote several essays about his blindness, married and had children; then spinal malaria paralyzed him from the waist down.
He developed an interest in history and native cultures, particularly that of Eastern Woodland Indians who inhabited Pymatuning Lake in Pennsylvania. While collecting stone artifacts from these tribes, he was particularly drawn to their traditions and history.
His debut book, Black Like Me, became a bestseller and was translated into 14 languages. It served as an influential document of the civil rights movement in America and made Griffin into an ambassador for African Americans. Later he transitioned into photography to document their plight in South Carolina; his work inspired Grace Halsell to disguise herself as black and pursue journalism professionally.
John Griffing is an investigative journalist and media relations specialist. He has played a pivotal role in uncovering corruption and advocating for transparency within public life.
His exposes have resulted in major policy shifts at the state level. Additionally, he founded foundations to assist nonprofits and investors alike.
Griffin is also a member of the Texas Nationalist Movement (TNM), an organization dedicated to Texas independence. This group has had some nebulous connections with Russia, as well as with members of separatist movements from other Western allies.