â€œLincoln's assassination has been sort of a lifetime
hobby of mine, and I've always been somewhat suspicious of the official version
of events. I decided, therefore, to begin my own investigation and to follow the
evidence where it might lead me.â€Â
â€”Dr. John Chandler Griffin
Dr. John Chandler Griffin was born in McColl, South
Carolina, in 1936, during the Great Depression, to a seventeen-year-old mother
and an unemployed twenty-one-year-old father. When he was a year old, his mother
almost died from pneumonia and was extremely ill for months afterward. During
that time he lived with his paternal grandmother. When his mother recovered, he
refused to go home and lived with his grandmother until he finished high school.
In high school he excelled as a quarterback and was
granted a scholarship to Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina.
However, in college he focused more on poker than on his studies, and he soon
dropped out, joining the Eighty-second Airborne Division. When he left the
serviceâ€”where he discovered he enjoyed writing after penning so many long
letters homeâ€”he entered Armstrong Atlantic University in Savannah and majored
in English. He was granted an assistantship at the University of South
Carolina-Lancaster, where he completed his Ph.D. and was offered a job as
assistant professor upon graduation. Eventually he became a full professor and
retired in 1998. That same year he was awarded the honorary title of
Distinguished Professor Emeritus and was named to the Order of the Silver
Crescent by Gov. Jim Hodges.
While teaching, Dr. Griffin wrote the weekly sports
column â€œWhere Are They Now?â€ for the State newspaper in Columbia and the
Observer in Charlotte and wrote six books about college football. His
1996 biography of Thomas Wolfe won the History Book of the Year Award from the
North Carolina Historical Society, and his 2001 biography of noted black author
Jean Toom won the Adele Mellen Award. Before delving into his interest in
Lincoln, Dr. Griffin's most recent book was A Pictorial History of the
Dr. Griffin is a member of his local Sons of Confederate
Veterans camp, and he and his wife are members of the First Baptist Church in
Lancaster, South Carolina. They have one daughter and two granddaughters.