Marvin Griffin was born in Bainbridge, Georgia on 4 September 1907, and he graduated from The Citadel in South Carolina in 1929. In 1934, he was elected to the Georgia State Assembly as a Democratic Party member, and he owned the WMGR radio station during the late 1940s. During World War II, he rose to the rank of Brigadier-General in the US Army, and he served as Adjutant General of the Georgia National Guard in 1944, serving until 1947. In 1948, he won a special election to become Lieutenant Governor of Georgia, and he was elected governor in 1955. Griffin was a staunch segregationist, promising to keep Georgia schools segregated "come hell or high water" after the Brown v. Board of Education decision was made in 1954. Racial issues and corruption charges ruined Griffin's reputation, and he lost the 1962 gubernatorial election. In 1968, he was George Wallace's original vice-presidential candidate as an American Independent Party candidate, and he later helped to found Bainbridge College in 1970. He died of lung cancer in 1982.