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John Howard Griffin

Born: 16-Jul-1920
Birthplace: Dallas, TX
Died: 9-Sep-1980
Location of death: Fort Worth, TX
Cause of death: Diabetes complications
Remains: Buried, Mansfield Cemetery, Mansfield, TX

Gender: Male
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Author
Party Affiliation: Democratic

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Black Like Me

Military service: French Defense Passive (1939); US Army Air Corps (WWII, Pacific, 1942-45)

Taking anti-vitiligo drugs, enduring a tanning regimen, and shaving his head, the white John Howard Griffin spent six weeks passing as a black man in the deep South. His account of the experience was first published in Sepia magazine as "Journey Into Shame", and later collected into the book Black Like Me (1961). In response, residents in his hometown of Mansfield, Texas, hanged him in effigy.

Went blind after sustaining injuries in World War II; miraculously regained his sight in 1957.

Father: Jack Walter Griffin
Mother: Lena Mae Young (concert pianist)
Brother: E. W. Griffin
Sister: (two)
Wife: Elizabeth Ann Holland (m. 7-Jun-1953, one daughter, two sons)
Daughter: Susan-Michele
Son: John Howard Griffin, Jr.
Son: Gregory Griffin

    High School: Paschal High School, Fort Worth, TX
    High School: Lycee Descartes, Tours, France (1938)
    Theological: Certificat d'Etudes, Abbaye de Solesmes

    American Society of Magazine Photographers
    Fort Worth Foundation for Visually Handicapped Children
    Royal Academy of Photographers (UK)
    Texas Institute of Letters
    Phi Mu Alpha Fraternity
    Converted to Catholicism 1952
    Risk Factors: Blindness, Diabetes

Author of books:
The Devil Rides Outside (1952, novel)
Nuni (1956, novel)
Land of the High Sky (1959, history)
Black Like Me (1961)
The Church and the Black Man (1969)
A Time to be Human (1977)


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