Student public schools, Jacksonville.
He served as mayor of Jacksonville, Florida from 1978–1987. Godbold was elected to the Jacksonville city council in 1967 and served until 1979. He was city council president from 1971 to 1978.
When mayor Hans Tanzler announced he would be resigning his position to run for governor of Florida in 1978, Godbold was appointed to take his place for the last six months of the term.
He was elected in 1979 and re-elected in 1983. During his time as mayor Godbold initiated a number of "brick and mortar" projects to revitalize the city"s failing downtown.
He initiated the efforts to secure an NFL team, started the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, initiated the construction of the Jacksonville Landing and the Southbank Riverwalk, and secured funds for public housing that had been taken away by the federal government. His "creative" use of bond financing meant eight years of capital construction projects by the city.
He ran for mayor again in 1995 and ultimately lost to John Delaney, the city"s first Republican mayor since Reconstruction.
He has since become involved with local charities, including Hubbard House. In 2007 the city commissioned a new fireboat, its most recent since 1972, named after Godbold. At the commissioning Fire Chief Larry Peterson asserted that Godbold had "brought this fire department to one of top fire departments in the nation".
Board directors Gator Bowl Association, Boys Club of Jacksonville, Muscular Dystrophy Association. President board directors Big Brothers, Jacksonville. Served with United States Army, 1951-1953, Korea.
Member Florida League of Cities, National League of Cities, United States Conference Mayors. Clubs: Rotary, Northside Businessmen's, Springfield Businessmen's.
Married Jean Jenkins, February 16, 1957. 1 son, Ben.