Florence Griffith Joyner also known as Flo-Jo, was an American track and field athlete. Florence died in her sleep as the result of an epileptic seizure in 1998 at the age of 38.
Considered the fastest woman of all time based on world records she set in 1988 for both the 100 m and 200 m which have yet to be seriously challenged
Born the seventh of eleven children in Los Angeles, Florence began running at the age of 7; at 14, she won the Jesse Owens National Youth Games. She ran track for her High School, going on to race at the college level where she quickly earned a reputation as a track star. She became the 200m national college champion in 1982 taking the 400m title the following year.
Florence was also known for her fashion choices including bold coloured running suits embellished with lightening bolts; hooded body suits, and a running suit with the left leg cut off. She kept her hair long and wore jewellery. While competing at the Seoul Olympics her nails were six inches long with three of them painted red, white, blue, and the fourth gold signifying her goal.
With good reason the Seoul Olympics were dominated by talk of performance-enhancing drugs, some accused Florence of doping however she took, and passed, 11 tests for performance-enhancing drugs in 1988.
Her husband Al was unable to file her Will with the Californian probate Court within 30 days of her death as although Florence had made a Will it could not be found.
Californian law treats estates where the Will cannot be located as intestate estates.
Subsequently there were disputes between Florence’s husband and mother during the administration of the estate including whether Florence promised her mother that she could live in their house for the rest of her life. Eventually, the Court had to appoint a third-party to finish the administration.
Florence’s mother later filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Al alleging he failed to “exercise reasonable care to avoid foreseeable risk of harm” to his wife and that her death was caused by “harmful or offensive touching”.
A coroner’s report completed shortly after Florence’s death concluded she suffered an epileptic seizure in her sleep and suffocated. The autopsy found no indications of foul play or suspicious circumstances.
Al said the basis of the lawsuit stems in part from a dispute over his decision to start a foundation in his wife’s honour.
Sadly because her Will couldn’t be located it has caused additional stress to her family at an already devestating time in their lives. When you make a Will let your family know where it has been stored.