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John Howard Griffin ( 1920 - 1980 )  Category ( Journalists ) [suggest a correction]
 

What would you do to get a story if you were a journalist? What would you do to find out the truth of how others felt in the midst of racial segregation? Would you walk in the other person’s shoes if only you could? That’s precisely what John Howard Griffin did and he took it to a whole new level when he wrote about it after he did.

John Howard Griffin would go down in history as the man known for doing what it took to get the best story. In fact, in 1959, John Howard Griffin darkened his skin and traveled into the world where slavery had once dominated. He went into the Deep South. He went to states like Mississippi and Louisiana and he decided to experience life as a person on the other side of the fence.

John Howard Griffin was born in 1959. He would study literature and medicine and at nineteen, he would even work as a medic in one of the French armies. He served for 39 months stationed with the U.S. Army Air Corps located in the South Sea. He would later be commended for his bravery and he was a decorated soldier.

Griffin wrote two successful novels. The Devil Rides Outside and Nuni were both considered good books. He experienced blindness for a decade due to complications from diabetes but he would go on to miraculously regain his vision.

His famous work Black like Me would become the endeavor that would perhaps even secure his claim to fame. After his journey through the south with his painted skin, Griffin was able to experience the ills of segregation and through what he learned, show it to others.

Griffin wasn’t a stranger to awards and recognition. He won the Peace and Freedom Award and he won the Pacem in Terris Award. In 1980, John Howard Griffin died of complications experienced with diabetes. He was sixty-years old.


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