Born in Louisville, Kentucky, on May 8, 1943, Mayor John Gayle moved to Valdosta with his family in 1951. He attended Valdosta City Schools and graduated from Valdosta High School in 1961. He earned his Bachelor's Degree from Valdosta State College in 1966.
Mayor Gayle is an accomplished businessman. His career began at Prinsho Veneer Company in 1965, the company his father bought into when the family moved to Valdosta. Mayor Gayle was instrumental in opening branch offices in Tallahassee and Gainesville, and by 1979 he became a co-owner. After 20 years, he sold the company and began working for Capitoline Products in Rome, Georgia, as an independent representative. In 2005, he opened a branch office in Valdosta known as Capitoline Metro. He sold the branch in 2009 and retired.
In his role as mayor, John serves on numerous committees that touch all areas of the community, from transportation to military to business. He is the chairman of the Regional T-SPLOST Committee, elected by its members representing 18 counties across the regional. He serves on the Georgia Municipal Association Board of Directors and is a member of the GMA Executive Committee. John serves on the Southern Georgia Regional Council, the SGRC Workforce Development Board, and on the Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Committee where he recently served two years as Chairman. He also serves on the Lowndes County Board of Health, the Community Visioning Committee, and is an advocate for the military through his role on the South Georgia Military Affairs Committee.
With a heart for reaching our youth, John initiated the formation of the Valdosta Youth Council in 2015, and since then has served as the Chairman of the VYC Advisory Board. He oversees the Mayor's Council for Persons with Disabilities, making Valdosta a city without limits for all citizens.
Mayor Gayle has also served the community through several organizations as President of the Valdosta Jaycees, President of the Valdosta Country Club, and Chairman of the Board of Deacons of First Baptist Church. He has been included in the Outstanding Young Men of America and is a member of the Kappa Alpha Order.
John is serving his second term as Mayor, which ends in December 2019.
Mayor Gayle married his high school sweetheart, Peggy Elliott, in 1965, to whom he has been married for over 52 years. The couple has three children who have all become productive members of society—something he considers one of his greatest accomplishments in life. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, as his six wonderful grandchildren are showing great promise, as well.