Black History Month Spotlight: Florence Griffith Joyner, Fastest Woman and Fashion Icon

Every weekday this month, we’re profiling fascinating figures from L.A.’s Black history
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For a running list of all our 2021 Black History Month profiles, click here.


Born in Los Angeles, the legendary track and field athlete Florence Griffith Joyner (1959-1998), nicknamed Flo-Jo, is still the fastest woman of all time. A three-time Olympic gold medalist (she also won two silver), Griffith Joyner set world records in the 100-meter and 200-meter sprints in 1988. She was also a fashion icon, influencing athletes including Serena and Venus Williams.

After her retirement in 1989, she served as co-chair of the President’s Council of Physical Fitness and was inducted into the U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1995. Tragically, she died at the age of 38 in 1998, the result of an epileptic seizure.


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