Florence (Griffith) Joyner

Delorez Florence (Griffith) Joyner (1959 - 1998)

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Delorez Florence (Florence) "Flo-Jo" Joyner formerly Griffith
Born in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United Statesmap
Daughter of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Wife of [private husband (1960s - unknown)]
[children unknown]
Died in Mission Viejo, Orange, California, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 4 Sep 2017
This page has been accessed 355 times.

Categories: United States National Track and Field Hall of Fame | Famous Athletes of the 20th Century | Famous People of the 20th Century | Olympic Games (1988) | Track and Field | 100 metres | Unconnected Notables of the United States of America | Notables.

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Florence Delorez Griffith Joyner (21 Dec 1959 – 21 Sep 1998), also known as Flo-Jo, was an American track and field athlete. She was inducted (1995) into the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame, based on the world records she set in 1988 for both the 100 m and 200 m (which still stand in 2017). During the late 1980s she became a popular figure in international track and field because of her record-setting performances and flashy personal style. [1]

Florence Griffith Joyner was born Delorez Florence Griffith in Los Angeles, California, the seventh of eleven children born to her parents Robert Griffith (airline technician) and Florence Griffith(teacher).[2] Her mother came from Henderson, N.C., to California to be with a sister, who was working on her Ph.D. at UCLA, and to go to school but ended up getting married to her father who was from Nashville, Tenn. The family lived in Littlerock, California before the parents separated and the eleven children (Bobby, Weldon, Vivian, Kathleen, Robert, Elizabeth aka “Cissy,” Florence, Joseph, Lemuel, Gale and Eugene.) went with their mother to the Jordan Downs public housing complex located in the Watts section of Los Angeles.[3]

Florence Delorez Griffith's nickname among family was "Dee Dee".[4] She was briefly engaged to hurdler Greg Foster.[4] In 1987, Florence Delorez Griffith married 1984 Olympic triple jump champion Al Joyner.[5] Through her marriage to Al Joyner she was sister-in-law to fellow track and field athlete Hall of Fame inductee Jackie Joyner-Kersee[6]. Florence Griffith Joyner. In 1990 Al Joyner and Florence Delorez Griffith Joyner had a daughter, named Mary after Al Joyner’s mother, who had died aged 38.[5]

On 21 Sep 1998, Florence Griffith Joyner died in her sleep at home in the Canyon Crest neighborhood of Mission Viejo, California, at the age of 38. The unexpected death was investigated by the sheriff-coroner's office, with the cause of death being suffocation during a severe epileptic seizure.[5]

Florence Griffith Joyner's grave at El Toro Memorial Park in Lake Forest has a gravestone that includes her photo and this memorial[7]:-

Florence Delorez Joyner
Dec. 21, 1959 – Sept. 21,1998
I love you Mommy
We miss you so much.
Husband and Daughter
Family and Friends
Sleep, My Love, until we are together again.


  1. USA Track and Field; Hall of Fame biographies; https://www.usatf.org/HallOfFame/TF/showBio.asp?HOFIDs=63 accessed 5Sep2017; Florence Griffith Joyner; Inducted: 1995, athlete
  2. Florence Griffith Joyner - Born To Run
    Publisher NetIndustries; http://sports.jrank.org/pages/1833/Griffith-Joyner-Florence-Born-Run.html accessed 5Sep2017
  3. The mother behind the Olympian reveals the spirit that was Flo Jo; Written by Joy Childs; Published by L.A. Watts Times on Friday, 10 August 2012; online repository http://lawattstimes.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=342:the-mother-behind-the-olympian-reveals-the-spirit-that-was-flo-jo&catid=12&Itemid=110 accessed 5Sep2017
  4. 4.0 4.1 title=Flashy Florence Griffith Joyner Will Be the One to Watch—and Clock—in the Women's Sprints : People.com; date=29 August 1988;website=www.people.com; http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20099786,00.html accessed 5Sep2017; volume=30; issue=9
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 50 stunning Olympic moments No22: Florence Griffith Joyner, Seoul 1988; Author Simon Burnton; Publisher The Guardian; date Wednesday 11 April 2012; https://www.theguardian.com/sport/london-2012-olympics-blog/2012/apr/11/olympic-florence-griffith-joyner-seoul accesssed 5Sep2017
  6. USA Track and Field; Hall of Fame biographies; https://www.usatf.org/HallOfFame/TF/showBio.asp?HOFIDs=201 accessed 5Sep2017; Jackie Joyner-Kersee; Inducted: 2004, athlete
  7. The Orange County Register; Florence Griffith Joyner Photo 4 of 4; article By ADAM TOWNSEND; Orange County Register; published October 24, 2008; http://www.ocregister.com/2008/10/24/florence-griffith-joyner/ accessed 5Sep2017

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No known carriers of Florence's ancestors' mitochondrial DNA have taken an mtDNA test and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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Images: 1
Florence Griffith Joyner of the U.S. Olympic team in the oval office
Florence Griffith Joyner of the U.S. Olympic team in the oval office

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On 4 Sep 2017 at 23:14 GMT Veni Joyner wrote:

Joyner-532 and Griffith-5560 appear to represent the same person because: The last name at birth for Flo-Jo was Griffith not Joyner.

On 4 Sep 2017 at 22:12 GMT Veni Joyner wrote:

The last name at birth for Flo-Jo is not Joyner but Griffith. She was married for a time to Al Joyner.

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