Who is Jake Godbold?
Jake Godbold (full name: Jake Maurice Godbold) was an American politician and a former mayor of Jacksonville, Florida. He was a member of the Democratic Party and served as mayor from 1978 to 1987. The former mayor died on 23rd January 2020
He was elected to the Jacksonville city council in 1967 and served until 1979. From 1971 to 1978, he was the city council president. Jake was then appointed to the mayoral position when mayor Hans Tanzler announced he would be resigning his position to run for governor of Florida in 1978. He served for the last six months to the end of the term.
He was elected in 1979 and also got re-elected in 1983. During his tenure as mayor, he initiated a number of “brick and mortar” projects to revitalize the city’s failing downtown.
Among them were initiating the efforts to secure an NFL team, starting the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, initiating the construction of the Jacksonville Landing and the Southbank Riverwalk and also securing funds for public housing that had been taken away by the federal government. Godbold’s “creative” use of bond financing meant eight years of capital construction projects by the city.
In 1995, Godbold ran for mayor again but this time lost to John Delaney. Delaney was the first Republican mayor since Reconstruction. Since then, Godbold has been involved with local charities, including Hubbard House.
The city commissioned a new fireboat in 2007 which was its most recent since 1972, named after Godbold. During the commissioning Fire Chief Larry Peterson asserted that Godbold had “brought this fire department to one of the top fire departments in the nation”.
Jake Godbold Age
Godbold died at the age of 85. He was born on March 14, 1934, in Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.
Jake Godbold Family
Godbold kept his personal life very private. He has not disclosed any information regarding his childhood, parents or siblings.
Jake Godbold Wife
Jake was married to Jean Godbold to whom he was married for 57 years until her death in 2013. Jean died of complications from a stroke at the age of 82.
The couple tied the knot at Wesley Fellowship United Methodist Church, 5400 N. Pearl St. (then: Anderson Memorial United Methodist). Jean managed to stay out of the spotlight during her husband’s tenure as mayor from 1978 to 1987 but was always supportive of his political career. She preferred to keep a low profile, a decision that Godbold left up to her.
Jake also shared that Jean was the story of what a marriage is supposed to be. Jean suffered a stroke in July 2012 and never recovered from it.
Jean was born in Hodges, Ala., and moved to Jacksonville with her family when she was a young child. After she had graduated from Andrew Jackson High School, she worked as a secretary for Southern Bell for 20 years.
She later served as an office manager for Godbold’s company, Gateway Chemicals, for about 20 years before her retirement.
Jake Godbold Children
Jean and Jake Godbold share a son Ben Godbold.
Jake Godbold Cause of Death
Jacksonville’s former colorful and sometimes controversial mayor died on 23rd January 2020 at his home. The news of his death was confirmed by his family and previous mayors. Jake died aged 86. The cause of his death is not yet clear
Jake Godbold Net Worth
Through his career in politics, Godbold earned a great fortune to his name. However, his net worth is not yet revealed.