The glamorous American started her career as a 200m specialist, but entered the Olympics as the favourite for a sprint double having set a world record 10.49 in the US 100m trials.
And she lit up the stadium as she streaked to an emphatic 100m-200m double, setting a world record 21.34 in the latter event, which she won by nearly four tenths of a second.
A third triumph came in the 4x100m relay, in which the US, with Griffith Joyner on the third leg, won thanks to a sensational performance on the final straight by Evelyn Ashford, who overhauled East Germany's Marlies Goehr.
Like many sprinters of the time, Griffith-Joyner was dogged by rumours of steroid use, and her tragic early death provoked more whispers. But the facts are that she never tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, and her autopsy showed no evidence of their use.
A reluctant athlete, Flo-Jo retired from competition after Seoul, citing her desire to start a family and her dislike of diet restrictions during training.
She died in her sleep in 1998 after suffering a seizure. She was 38.