Johnny Lawrence Ford, an Alabama native, grew up in Tuskegee where he attended Washington Public Elementary School and later graduated from Tuskegee Institute High School. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Sociology from Knoxville College in Knoxville, Tennessee and a Master of Public Administration degree from Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama. In the year 1972, he was elected as Tuskegee’s first African American mayor, serving six consecutive terms, after which he was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives. He was elected Mayor again in 2004 and then again in 2012, in addition to being Mayor he serves as Chairman of the Utilities Board of Tuskegee. Mayor Ford is founder of several organizations which include; the Alabama Conference of Black Mayors (ACBM), National Conference of Black Mayors (NCBM) and the World Conference of Mayors (WCM). He is founding co-chair of the national Policy Alliance (NPA). Mayor Ford has received many awards and honors, including several honorary Doctorate degrees. He has three children; sons, John Ford, Jr. and Christopher , and one daughter Tiffany. He is married to retired Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge, the Honorable Joyce London Ford.