Lawn Griffiths – yes ‘Lawn’ as in grass – has been writing for publication since 1963. Son of a strongly opinionated Iowa farmer, he learned early that ideas rock the world, and he hasn’t been timid about sharing his beliefs and disbeliefs. His second editorial when he was high school newspaper editor, lambasting the school board, got both the school superintendent and the high school principal sitting him down and “setting him straight.” It just made him write better and watch his back.
In June 2015, “Batting Rocks Over the Barn — An Iowa Farm Boy’s Odyssey” was published by Xlibris Press. The book is a collection of 72 essays about Lawn’s growing up in rural Iowa during the 1950s and 1960s.
Lawn, who holds a bachelor degree in journalism from Iowa State University (1968) and master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University (1972), has balanced 40 years of daily newspapering with decades of serving on community boards and endless voluntarism. He spent almost 25 years as a reporter, editor, columnist and blogger with the East Valley Tribune through all its manifestations and names. He has freelanced for the Arizona Republic and does writing projects for groups. He is 1995 recipent of the city of Tempe’s “Don Carlos Humanitarian Award”; Tempe Leadership’s 1992 “Outstanding Citizen Leadership Award”; Arizona Interfaith Movement’s “Golden Rule Award”; Arizona Ecumenical Council’s “Gold Cross Award”; Tempe Historical Society’s “Living Legends Hall of Fame”; Kiwanis’ George F. Hixson Fellow Award’ and, in 2011, elected to the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame. In 2015, he was inducted into the Butler County (Iowa) Hall of Fame. In 2014, he was awarded a Walter Zeller Fellowship by Kiwanis for fund-raising for Kiwanis’ worldwide “Eliminate Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus” campaign. He has been Kiwanis of the Year four times in his Kiwanis Club where he has been a member for 29 years and has produced its weekly online newsletter, “KCOT Bulletin” since 1990. kcot.org on Facebook.
He embraces progressive causes and advocates for many who have no voice, most passionately male babies and minors who suffer the cruel indignity of circumcision. His mantra is Horace Mann’s cry, “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.”