Floyd T. Christian was born in Alabama on December 18, 1914, and moved to Pinellas County with his family in 1927. He received an AB degree from the University of Florida in 1937 and a Master's degree in Education from UF in 1950. He served as Florida Superintendent of Public Instruction/Commissioner of Education from 1965 to 1973.

Christian started his career in education in 1937 as a teacher and coach at Clearwater High School and as coach at Ft. Myers High School from 1938 to 1941. He served in World War II as Battalion Commander of a Field Artillery unit and discharged as a Colonel in 1946. Following the war, he served Administrator of the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs in St. Petersburg from 1946 to 1948.

He served as Superintendent of Public Instruction for Pinellas County from 1948 to 1965. During this period he held several important positions including President of the Florida Association of County Superintendents (1954), President of the Florida Education Association (1955), and member and first chair of the Florida Educational Television Commission (1955). He was one of the first appointees to the newly-organized Board of Regents in 1965.