Clarence W. Griggs, the son of Walter and Elizabeth Griggs, was born on April 5, 1902, in Temple, Bell County, Texas. He obtained his bachelor's degree in divinity from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee and his master's degree in sacred theology from Union Theological Seminary in New York. By 1940, Clarence was living in Schenectady and was an executive secretary for the George W. Carver League until January 1943, when he departed to join the army as a Chaplain.

In 1943, Clarence enlisted in the United States Army. He was a Captain Chaplain serving with the 7th Infantry Division, 504th Port Battalion. On April 12, 1945, Clarence was killed during the Battle of Okinawa. He is buried in the Long Island National Cemetery, New York. 

Sources: The Schenectady Gazette, Find A Grave, Ancestry