Leon Odell Griffith Sr., a graduate of the University of Florida, was a noted author and journalist at the Pensacola News Journal, and a publisher who owned The Griffith Agency, a public relations firm located in Pensacola. He also worked for the Santa Rosa Press as well as several other journals and newspapers.
Griffith was born in nearby Crestview in 1921 and raised here in the Village of Bagdad. He served as the US Marine Corps journalist at the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War ll, and witnessed the raising of the American flag at Mt Suribachi. He left the Marine Corps after 16 years at the rank of captain.
Griffith authored five books, including A Long Time Since Morning and Seed In The Wind, published by Random House, as well as The Longest Strike, Ed Ball: Confusion To The Enemy, and John Holliday Perry: Florida Press Lord.
Griffith was also a columnist and publisher of The West Florida Official, a weekly newspaper, and an active participant in the local presidential election campaign of Jimmy Carter.
Capt. Griffith passed away in 1984 at the age of 62 years, and was laid to rest at Barrancas National Cemetery, Naval Air Station Pensacola.