A native of the great State of Alabama, Johnny Lawrence Ford grew up in Tuskegee, the home of Tuskegee University, “the Pride of the Swift-Growing South,” also the home of the famed Tuskegee Airmen. He graduated from Tuskegee Institute High School and received his B.A. degree in history and sociology from Knoxville College, Knoxville, Tennessee, and a Masters of Public Administration from Auburn University at Montgomery. He also received 5 honorary degrees including The Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Alabama A & M University in 2004.
Elected as the 1st African-American Mayor of the City of Tuskegee in 1972, Mayor Ford served six terms from 1972 – 1996 and was again elected to that office in September, 2004. In 1998, he was elected Representative from District 82 to the State Legislature, where he served on the County and Municipal Government Committee, the Lee County Legislation Committee, the Health Committee, and the Tourism and Travel Committee. The Honorable Ford retained his legislative position until his return to office as mayor of Tuskegee.
As Founder of the World Conference of Mayors, Inc., The Honorable Ford also serves as Secretary General. He is a Founder and President-Emeritus of the National Conference of Black Mayors, Inc., and a former member of the Alabama Foreign Trade Commission and the Alabama Municipal Electric Authority. While Mayor, Banjul, The Gambia was designated as the Tuskegee Sister City; therefore, he has worked closely with the country, The Gambia, for many years. Furthermore, he has served as Co-Chairman of the National Policy Alliance, which is an arm of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. The National Policy Alliance Center for Political and Economic Studies is comprised of The National Bar Association, The Congressional Black Caucus, The World Conference of Mayors, The National Conference of Black Mayors, The National Association of Black County Officials, The National Black Caucus of School Board Members, Blacks in Government, The National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials, as well as the Joint Center For Political and Economic Development.
The Honorable Ford has served as a former U.S. Presidential Appointee to the National Advisory Committee on Federalism, and the Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee on Trade. He is a past President of the Alabama League of Municipalities, and the first African-American in Alabama History to be elected to this statewide position.
The Honorable Ford is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, the Founding President of the Tuskegee Optimist Club, a member of the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, and a member of Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church, the home church of Dr. Booker T. Washington.
He is married to the Honorable Judge Joyce London Alexander, Retired, Former Chief U. S. Magistrate Judge, of the District of Massachusetts. She was the First Female Chief United States Magistrate Judge in the USA. She is Past Chair of the Judicial Council of the National Bar Association, and of the Board of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.
He is also the proud father of three adult children…John, Christopher, and Tiffany…The Honorable Ford has four grandchildren. The Fords have a second home on Garden Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts.