Some Famous South Carolinians

Here is a partial list of famous South Carolinians. You can also click here to check out the list of "South Carolina Hall of Fame" inductees.

Mary McLeod Bethune

Born in Mayesville, SC, on July 10, 1875, Bethune was one of 17 children born to Samuel and Patsy McLeod, former slaves. She was educated at the Presbyterian Mission School in Mayesville, Scotia Seminary and the Moody Bible Institute. Her interest in education led her in 1904 to found the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute for Negro Girls (now Bethune-Cookman College ) in Florida, where she served as president from 1904-1942 and from 1946-47. Bethune was a leader in the black women's club movement and served as president of the National Association of Colored Women. She was a delegate and advisor to national conferences on education, child welfare and home ownership. She also served as director of Negro Affairs in the National Youth Administration (1936-1944), was a consultant to the Secretary of War, and was appointed consultant on interracial affairs and understanding at the charter conference of the National Council of Negro Women. Honors include the Haitian Medal of Honor and Merit, and the Commander of the Order of the Star of Africa from Liberia. She was the first African-American woman to be involved in the White House, assisting four different presidents. Her picture hangs in the South Carolina State House and there is a statue erected to her in Washington, DC. Bethune died May 18, 1955.

Brig. Gen. Charles F. Bolden Jr., USMC

Born August 19, 1946, in Columbia, SC, Bolden is a graduate of C.A. Johnson High School. After graduation from the US Naval Academy, where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Science, he accepted a commission as second lieutenant in the US Marine Corps, underwent flight training and became a naval aviator. Following a tour of duty, Bolden returned earned a Master's Degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California in 1977 and graduated from the US Naval Test Pilot School in 1979. Selected by NASA in 1980, Bolden became an astronaut in August 1981. A veteran of four space flights, logging more than 680 hours in space, Bolden helped deploy the SARCOM KU satellite, piloted the shuttle Discovery that launched the Hubble telescope, commanded the shuttle Atlantis and commanded the first joint US/Russian mission. In 1994, Bolden left NASA and returned to active duty in the US Marine Corps. Brig. General Bolden served as the assistant wing commander, HQ 3rd MAW Miramar, San Diego, CA. In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed Bolden as Administrator of NASA.

James Butler Bonham

James Butler Bonham (1807-1836) was one of the brave men who died defending the Alamo. Born in Red Banks on February 20, 1807, Bonham enrolled in South Carolina College but was expelled with the entire senior class for rebelling against school regulations and food. He studied law and opened a practice in Pendleton. Bonham was twice sent as a messenger seeking reinforcements for the garrison at the Alamo. On March 3, 1836, Bonham broke through the Mexican lines and rode under heavy fire back into the Alamo, becoming the last man to enter the doomed mission fortress. He died alongside childhood friend Col. William Travis, Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie on March 6, 1836.

Peter Boulware

Columbia native Peter Boulware, graduated from Spring Valley High School and went on to Florida State University. He was the fourth pick in the first round of the 1997 NFL draft, going to the Baltimore Ravens. During his linebacker career, Boulware was named to the Pro Bowl twice (1998 and 1999), was honored as the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1997, and won a Super Bowl ring in 2000. He continues to play for the Ravens.

Edgar A. Brown

Born near Aiken, SC, Edgar A. Brown (1888-1975) made his mark as a member of the South Carolina Legislature where he served for some 50 years. His career included a stint as House Speaker (1925-26) and from 1942-1971 he was President Pro Tem of the Senate and Chairman of the powerful Finance Committee. Sen. Brown is credited with issuing gasoline tax revenue bonds to finance the state’s modern highway system. He also legislated fiscal responsibility in state government and mandated a sound educational system at all levels, which led to the development of the South Carolina Educational Television system, the model for ETV stations nationwide. The Edgar A. Brown Building, a part of the South Carolina State House Complex in Columbia, was dedicated in Brown’s honor before his death in 1975.

James Brown

James Brown is known as the "Godfather of Soul" and the "hardest working man in show business." Although born in Barnwell County on May 3, 1933, Brown has called Beech Island home for many years. In a career that spans four decades, Brown has had 98 Top 40 Billboard R&B singles, 17 making it to number one. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has received a Grammy Life Achievement Award.

Pierce Butler

Pierce Butler (1744-1822) was descended from the family of the Dukes of Ormond. Before the American Revolution, he was a major in a British regiment at Boston. He later became an advocate of the republican institutions of and was a 1787 South Carolina delegate to Congress. He served on the convention that framed the constitution and was one of the first senators elected by South Carolina after the adoption of the federal constitution. Butler died in 1822 at age 77.

James Francis Byrnes

"Jimmy" Byrnes," (1879-1972) as his friends and constituents called him, was born in Charleston. He dropped out of parochial school at 14 to help his mother with her dressmaking business. Byrnes later found employment with a law firm. The firm's partners taught him law and he was admitted to the bar in 1903. After several terms in the state legislature, Byrnes was elected to the US Senate in 1930 and while in the Senate became a strong supporter of President Roosevelt's New Deal. President Roosevelt appointed Byrnes to the US Supreme Court, but later asked him to serve as "assistant" president overseeing domestic affairs during World War II. President Truman appointed him Secretary of State. Byrnes moved back to SC and served as governor.

John C. Calhoun

Born March 18, 1782 near Abbeville, SC, John Caldwell Calhoun was an American Statesman and political philosopher. Calhoun graduated with honors from Yale University in 1804, went on to law school and was admitted to the South Carolina bar in 1807. He served in the State Legislature from 1809 to 1811, where he helped establish a balance of power between the state's tidewater planters and piedmont farmers. From 1811 until his death, Calhoun served in the federal government successively as congressman, secretary of war, vice president, senator, secretary of state and again as senator. He has been declared one of the five greatest senators of all time. Calhoun died in on March 31, 1850, in Washington, DC, and is buried in St. Philip’s Churchyard in Charleston.

Chubby Checker

Chubby Checker was born Ernest Evans on October 3, 1941, in Spring Gulley, SC, and later moved to Philadelphia. While still attending South Philadelphia High School, Chubby made his first record called “The Class." Just before graduation, the record company asked Checker to record "The Twist," a song written and originally recorded by Hank Ballard in 1958 with limited success. Checker recorded the tune and before graduation, the song and Checker were hits. Checker continues to entertain crowds.

Mary Boykin Miller Chestnut

Born near Statesburg, SC, Mary Boykin Miller Chestnut (1823-1886) was the daughter of a governor of South Carolina and the wife of a general. She knew many well-known people of that era and recorded her experiences in a series of diaries that became the principal source materials for her famous portrait of the Confederacy. Chestnut's diary, an interesting account of the Civil War from the viewpoint of an active Southern woman, slave holder and plantation owner, was published in 1905 under the title "A Diary from Dixie." It is considered among the finest literary works of the Confederate era.

Pat Conroy

Although born in Atlanta, GA on October 26, 1945, SC claims bestselling author, Pat Conroy, as a native son. Conroy has written several novels based on his life in the Lowcountry and his relationship with his father, from “The Great Santini,” to his teaching experience on Daufuskie Island in “The Water is Wide,” to his time at the Citadel in “Lords of Disciple” and “My Losing Season.” His most popular book, “The Prince of Tides,” tells a gripping tale of family tragedy and paints word pictures of the Lowcountry like no other. Several of his novels have been turned into movies. Conroy was living on Fripp Island when he passed away in March 2016.

Beth Daniel

Born October 15, 1956, in Charleston, SC, Beth Daniel attended Furman University, captured the US Women's Amateur in 1975 and 1977, and was a member of the US Curtus Cup team in 1976 and 1978. She also was a member of the World Cup Team in 1978. Daniel was the 1979 LPGA Rookie of the Year and earned the Vare Trophy in 1989 with a record 70.38 average. In 1990 Daniel set a record for the most consecutive rounds in the 60s with nine. Daniel became the third player in LPGA history to cross the $5 million mark in career earnings in 1996. During the 2002 season, Daniel earned four top-10 finishes and was a member of the victorious Solheim Cup team.

James Dickey

James Dickey (1923-1997) was a distinguished poet, novelist and critic. Two of his most famous volumes of verse are "Helmets" (1964) and "Buckdancer's Choice," for which he was awarded the National Book Award in 1965. Dickey taught, lectured and wrote. From 1966 to 1968 he held the position of Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress, an office that would later become the Poet Laureate. In 1969, Dickey became Poet-in-Residence and professor of English at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. The next year he penned his best-selling novel "Deliverance," a whitewater rafting thriller set on the Chattooga River. He also wrote the screenplay for the book, which was made into a major motion picture and nominated for an Academy Award in 1972. Dickey continued to teach at USC until his death Jan. 19, 1997.

Lawrence Eugene "Larry" Doby

Baseball Hall of Famer, Larry Doby (1923-2003) is a native of Camden. Doby played in the Negro Leagues and was the second African-American to break the color barrier behind Jackie Robinson in Major League Baseball and the first in the American League division. He was hired by owner Bill Veeck in 1947 to play for the Cleveland Indians. Doby later played with the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers. He had a career batting average or .283 with 253 HR and 970 RBI. In an ironic parallel Doby was the second black MLB coach behind Frank Robinson and was hired by Bill Veeck the owner of the White Sox, who had hired him as a player.

William Henry Drayton

William Henry Drayton (1742–1779) was a wealthy Lowcountry planter and zealous Whig patriot leader who was at the center of Revolutionary activity in South Carolina from 1774 until his death five years later. Drayton served on all his state’s important Revolutionary governing bodies, commanded a frigate of war, was elected chief justice in 1776, coauthored South Carolina's 1778 constitution, and represented the state in the Constitutional Congress from 1778 until his death in Philadelphia on Sept. 3, 1779, at age 37. He was a statesman of great decision and energy, and one of the most gifted political writers South Carolina has produced.

Charles M. Duke

Born October 3, 1935, Charles M. Duke lived in Lancaster during his youth and attended Lancaster High School before moving to Florida. He earned degrees from the US Naval Academy and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and received an honorary Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of South Carolina. Duke was selected by NASA in 1966 and served as member of the astronaut support crew for the Apollo 10 flight. He served as lunar module pilot of Apollo 16 (April 16-27, 1972), the first scientific expedition to inspect, survey and sample materials and surface features of the lunar highlands. Duke retired from the astronaut program in 1975 and is a private businessman.

Alex English

Alex English was born January 5, 1954, in Columbia, SC. A graduate of Dreher High School and the University of South Carolina, English went on to become the NBA's most prolific scorer during the 1980s and remains the seventh-leading scorer in league history. English dominated during the 1980s. During 10 full seasons in Denver, English played in eight straight All-Star Games, won a scoring title, averaged more than 23 points nine years in a row, and led the Nuggets to nine consecutive postseason appearances (although never to the finals). The sleek, 6'7.5" forward became the first player ever to string together eight straight 2,000-point seasons. And he led the Nuggets in scoring seven times en route to becoming the franchise’s all-time top scorer.

William Price Fox

William Price Fox was born in Waukegan, IL, but has lived most of his life in South Carolina. He graduated from the University of South Carolina and studied writing under Caroline Gordon. He has been a Hollywood scriptwriter, has taught at the Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa and is currently Writer-in-Residence at the University of South Carolina. His books include Southern Fried; Dr. Golf; Moonshine Light, Moonshine Bright; Ruby Red; Dixiana Moon; he also has published numerous short stories and magazine articles. A novelist and short story writer, Price is best known for his down-home humor like that found in his short story collection, “Southern Fried.” Price has written articles for TV Guide, USA Today, Golf Digest and the Saturday Evening Post.

Joe Frazier

Born January 12, 1944, in Beaufort, SC, Joe Frazier was the 1964 Olympic heavyweight champion and the world heavyweight champ 1970-73. Frazier fought Muhammad Ali for the heavyweight title three times. He is most remembered for the fight at Madison Square Garden in March 1971, where he defeated Ali to become the undisputed heavyweight champ. Frazier's pro record was 32-4-1, with 27 KOs.

Leeza Gibbons

A native of South Carolina, Leeza Gibbons is best known for her role as a host for “Entertainment Tonight” and her own talk show, “Leeza." She graduated from the University of South Carolina’s School of Journalism and has worked nationally as a reporter, television host, radio personality and producer.

Althea Gibson

A trailblazing national and international known athlete Althea Gibson (1927-2003) was born in the rural community of Silver. Her family later moved to Harlem where she came to the attention of Dr. Walter Johnson who became her patron. She was the first African-American to win championships at Grand Slam tournaments such as Wimbledon, the French Open and the US Open. Gibson won a total of 11 major titles in the 1950s including singles at the French Open (1958), Wimbledon (1957, 1958) and US Open (1957, 1958). She was the Associate Press Female Athlete of the Year (1957, 1958) and the first black female to receive the award. Following her retirement from tennis she continued to serve on various boards and commissions related to athletics.

John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie

Born October 21, 1917 in Cheraw, SC, John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie is considered by some as the greatest jazz trumpeter of all time. The youngest of nine children, Gillespie taught himself to play the trombone and then switched to trumpet when he was 12. He grew up in poverty and won a scholarship to Laurinburg Institute in North Carolina, but dropped out to find work as a musician. Gillespie was one of the key founders of Afro-Cuban (or Latin) jazz and was a superb "scat" singer. During a career that spanned over five decades, Gillespie performed with the giants of the jazz era – Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Cab Calloway, Billy Eckstine, Sarah Vaughn and Coleman Hawkins among them. He also contributed arrangements to such bands as Jimmy Dorsey and Woody Herman. Among his many awards, Gillespie was honored with a Grammy in 1975 for Best Jazz Performance.

Sarah Grimke and Angelina Grimke

Sarah Grimke (1792-1873) and Angelina Grimke Weld (1805-1879) were a most unlikely pair to become staunch advocates of the abolition of slavery. Born into a wealthy slaveholding family the girls split their time between a townhouse in Charleston and a plantation in Beaufort. Sarah accompanied her father to Philadelphia in search of a cure and it was here that her anti-slavery feelings were set free. Angelina later joined her sister in the North where they traveled, lectured and wrote about their first-hand accounts of slavery and its abuses. Later in life they both became very involved in the early women’s rights movement.

Thomas Heyward

Thomas Heyward, Jr. was born in South Carolina in St. Luke's Parish, in 1746. He received a classical education at home and continued in legal studies. In 1775 he was elected to the Continental Congress, where he signed the Declaration of Independence. In 1778 he returned to South Carolina to serve as a Judge. He was taken prisoner by the British while in command of a Militia force during the siege of Charleston. He resumed his Judgeship following the war and retired in 1798. He died in March of 1809 at age 64.

Ernest Frederick "Fritz" Hollings

Fritz Hollings was born in Charleston on January 1, 1922 and served as the state’s junior senator (see Strom Thurmond) from 1966 to 2005. A Citadel and University of South Carolina Law School graduate and US Army veteran, Hollings set his sights on a political career beginning in 1948 when he was elected to the general assembly. He served the state as Lieutenant Governor, Governor and later Senator. In Congress, he supported many civil rights bills and was a staunch fiscal conservative and a namesake on the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act, which was an attempt to limit government spending. Hollings did not seek reelection to the senate in 2004. He and his wife “Peatsy” live in Charleston.

Richard Hutson

Richard Hutson, jurist, was born in Prince William's parish, South Carolina, June 12, 1747; died in Philadelphia, PA, in 1793. He graduated from Princeton in 1765, and practiced law in Charleston, SC, until the beginning of the Revolution. He was a member of the Continental Congress from South Carolina in 1774, 1776 and 1778, and in the latter year, with other patriots, was imprisoned and sent to St. Augustine by the British under Sir Henry Clinton. At the close of the war, during which his considerable estate had been seriously damaged, he completed his financial ruin by taking payment in continental currency for money that was due him, hoping, by his example, to improve the government credit. He was intendant of Charleston under its first charter in 1783-'88, became chancellor in 1784, senior judge of the chancery court in 1791, and was a member of the convention that ratified the Federal constitution in 1788. Hutson died in Charleston, SC, April 12, 1795, and is interred in the Perrineau family vault in Independent Congregational Church Cemetery.

Andrew Jackson

Born March 15, 1767, in the Waxhaw settlement on the border of the Carolinas, Jackson was orphaned at the age of 14. After reading law and gaining admission to the bar in North Carolina, he migrated to Nashville, TN. A frontier general and Indian fighter, Jackson was elected seventh president of the United States on a platform that proclaimed him the champion of democracy and of the common man. Jackson served two terms of office (1829-37) and left his mark on the era, often termed the "Age of Jackson." Jackson died in June 1845.

Rev. Jesse Jackson

Rev. Jesse Louis Jackson Sr., founder and president of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, is one of America’s foremost civil rights, religious and political figures. Over the past 40 years he has played a pivotal role in virtually every movement for empowerment, peace, civil rights, gender equality, and economic and social justice. Born on October 8, 1941, in Greenville, SC, Jackson graduated from the public schools in Greenville, enrolled in the University of Illinois on a football scholarship and later transferred to North Carolina A&T State University, where he graduated in 1964. He began his theological studies at the Chicago Theological Seminary but deferred his studies when he began working full-time in the Civil Rights Movement. Rev. Jackson received his earned Master of Divinity Degree in 2000. In 1965 he became a full-time organizer for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and was appointed by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to direct SCLC’s Operation Breadbasket program. In December 1971, Jackson founded Operation PUSH (People United to Serve Humanity) in Chicago, IL. In 1984, he founded the National Rainbow Coalition, a national social justice organization, based in Washington, DC. The two organizations merged in 1996. Jackson campaigned for president in 1984 and in 1988.

"Shoeless" Joe Jackson

Joseph Jefferson Jackson (1887-1951) was born in Brandon Mills, SC. He was the holder of the third highest (.356) career batting average in major league baseball history. Jackson was banned from baseball in 1921 for his part in the 1919 Black Sox episode in which eight members of the Chicago White Sox, the American League champions, were accused of having conspired with gamblers to throw the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds. He received his "Shoeless Joe" nickname after playing a minor league game in his stocking feet [because of blisters from a new pair of spikes].

Jasper Johns

Born in 1930, Jasper Johns grew up in Allendale, SC, and studied at the University of South Carolina. Johns emerged as force in the American art scene in the late 1950s. His richly worked paintings of maps, flags and targets led the artistic community away from Abstract Expressionism toward a new emphasis on the concrete. Johns laid the groundwork for both Pop Art and Minimalism. Today, as his prints and paintings set record prices at auction, the meanings of his paintings, his imagery and his changing style continue to be subjects of controversy.

Joseph Lane Kirkland

Lane Kirkland (1922-1999) was born in Camden. In 1941 he entered the US Merchant Marine Academy and following his graduation the next year began serving as an officer on US merchant ships during WWII. After the war he went to work for the American Federation of Labor and completed a degree from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He rose through the labor ranks and from 1979-1995 he was the president of the 16 million-member AFL-CIO. For his support of the Solidarity movement in Poland Kirkland was posthumously awarded the Order of the White Eagle, the highest award in that country.

Eartha Kitt

Born on a cotton plantation in South Carolina, Eartha Kitt was given away by her mother and sent to live with an aunt in Harlem, NY, at the age of eight. With an enduring career that has spanned theater, cabaret, television, and the recording industry, Eartha Kitt has become nothing less than a household name. An international star who has given new meaning to the word “versatility,” she is one of only a handful of performers to be nominated twice for both a Tony Award and a Grammy Award as well as for an Emmy.

Henry Laurens

(1724-1792) Henry Laurens was born in Charleston, South Carolina, in the year 1724. He took an early part in opposing the arbitrary claims of Great Britain, at the commencement of the American Revolution. In 1776, he was made Vice President of South Carolina under the new constitution and elected a delegate to the Continental Congress. Upon the resignation of John Hancock, he was elected President of Congress on November 1, 1777. His tenure as President of the Continental Congress was during one of most stormy periods in the Revolutionary War. In 1780, on his way to negotiate a treaty with the United Netherlands, he was captured by a British vessel and sent to Great Britain where he was imprisoned on suspicion of high treason. Freed some 15 months later, he was commissioned by Congress as one of the ministers to negotiate peace. He then went to Paris, where, with John Jay and Benjamin Franklin, he signed the preliminaries of the treaty, November 30, 1782. He later retired to his plantation in Charleston, where he died.

Thomas Lynch

Thomas Lynch Jr., was born in South Carolina on August 5, 1749. He was educated in England and graduated with honors at Cambridge. He studied law in London and returned home in 1772. He was politically engaged as soon as he returned home, and was commissioned a company commander in the South Carolina regiment in 1775. Soon afterward he was elected to a seat in the Continental Congress, replacing his father. He fell ill shortly after signing the Declaration of Independence and retired from the Congress. At the close of 1776 he and his wife sailed for the West Indies. The ship disappeared and there is no record of his life after.

Edwin McCain

Born in Greenville, McCain is a platinum recording artist with six albums to his credit. 

Andie McDowell

Andie McDowell, a model and actress from Gaffney, SC, is most noted for her role opposite Hugh Grant in "Four Weddings and a Funeral." She also starred with John Travolta in the film "Michael."

Dr. Ronald McNair

Born October 21, 1950, in Lake City, SC, Dr. Ronald McNair, was one of the seven astronauts to die when the space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after takeoff from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on January 28, 1986. McNair graduated from Lake City's Carver High School in 1967, earned a Bachelor's Degree in Physics from North Carolina A&T State University in 1971 and a Ph.D. in Physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1976. A nuclear physicist, McNair was selected for NASA’s astronaut program in 1978, and he became the second African-American to fly in space.

Francis Marion

Francis Marion (1732-1785), an American Revolutionary War hero, was nicknamed the "Swamp Fox" by the British because of his elusive tactics. Marion was probably born in St. John's Parish, Berkeley County, near Georgetown, SC, about 1732. Marion was elected to the South Carolina Provincial Congress as a representative in 1775. During the Revolutionary War, he rose from private to brigadier general because of his intuitive grasp of strategy and tactics. Daring and elusive, he usually struck at night and then vanished into the swamps and morasses of the South, earning him the name "Swamp Fox." After the war Marion represented his parish in the state senate and the Constitutional Convention.

John Mathews

John Mathews (1744-1802) was born in 1744, well-educated and became a lawyer by profession. At the start of the Revolution, he became an ardent Whig and fought for the rights and liberties of his native land. In 1780, Mathews was elected to a seat in Congress. Two years later, he was chosen to succeed Governor Rutledge as the chief-magistracy of South Carolina. Mathews held this post for one year and in 1784 was appointed a judge in the court of equity. He held this post until his death in 1802 at age 58.

Arthur Middleton

Arthur Middleton (1743-1787) was born at Middleton place near the banks of the Ashley River into one of the colony's most prominent families. As a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1776-77, he was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He later served in the state legislature. Middleton died January 1, 1787.

Robert Mills

This South Carolinian, born in Charleston, was appointed America’s first federal architect by President Thomas Jefferson in 1830. He designed the first fireproof building in America, the US Treasury Building, the US Post Office and the Washington Monument.

Rebecca Brewton Motte

Born and married into Charleston's aristocracy, Rebecca Motte (1738-1805) divided her time before the Revolutionary War between her town house in Charleston and plantation near the confluence of the Congaree and Wateree Rivers. After the fall of the city, she moved to the Congaree plantation, leaving her home to the British only to have them commandeer her plantation (Fort Motte) as one of a string of outposts from Charleston into the interior. When Francis Marion's forces failed to take the fort built around the Motte home, it was decided the British would have to be burned out. Motte agreed and furnished the fire arrows to accomplish the task. The British surrendered when the fire broke out, and tradition has it that both sides assisted in putting out the fire, saving the house.

William Perry

Born and raised in Aiken, SC, William Perry attended public schools there and went on to become a standout defensive lineman at Clemson University. Affectionately known as “The Refrigerator,” Perry has tipped the scales at over 300 pounds. Perry had an outstanding rookie year with the Chicago Bears in 1985 and helped lead the Bears to a Super Bowl championship in the 1985/86 season.

Charles Cotesworth Pinckney

(1740-1825) Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, distinguished as a patriot, soldier and diplomatist, was born in South Carolina in 1740. He was a member of the convention which framed the constitution of the United States, and afterward, in the convention of South Carolina, assembled for deliberating upon the instrument, he contributed greatly to its adoption.

Charles Pinckney

(1758-1824) Charles Pinckney was born in Charleston, SC in the year 1758. Unaided by a college education, he became by the assistance of private instructors a proficient in the languages of Greece, Rome, and France, and in all acquirements necessary to form a statesman. Ardent and impassioned in the pursuit of literature and distinction, he did not long remain unknown. At the commencement of the Revolution, he took a share in the struggle for independence, and was one of those patriots who underwent seven years calamity to restore liberty and independence to his country. At the age of twenty-seven, Mr. Pinckney was elected a member of the State legislature, which place he held until the year 1787, when he was unanimously elected by that body one of the delegates to the federal convention which met at Philadelphia to frame the present constitution. Though youngest in this august body, yet he has been ranked among the most conspicuous in eloquence and efficiency. He advocated an energetic general government. Of the various propositions which he originated, there is one which, though not a part of the constitution, yet the people appear to have adopted in practice. This was, that the president's tenure should be seven years, and afterward ineligible. By custom he continued for eight years, but the example of Washington in declining a third election, has established the utmost limit of a president's term.

Bobby Richardson

Bobby joined the New York Yankees at the age of 19 and played more than 1400 games with the Yankees. He was named the MVP of the 1960 World Series, and he still holds numerous World Series records. These include RBIs in a game, RBIs in a series, and hits in a series. He also holds the record for having played in 30 consecutive World Series games.

Darius Rucker

Born in Charleston, SC, Darius Rucker is the lead singer and guitarist for Hootie and the Blowfish, a Grammy-winning contemporary band from Columbia, SC. 

Edward Rutledge

(1749-1800) Edward Rutledge, the first of the South Carolina delegation, who affixes his name to the Declaration of Independence, was born in the city of Charleston, November, 1749. He was the youngest, son of Doctor John Rutledge, who emigrated from Ireland to South Carolina, about the year 1735. His mother was Sarah Hert, a lady of respectable family, and large fortune. At the age of twenty-seven, she became a widow with seven children. Her eldest son was John Rutledge, distinguished for his patriotic zeal during the revolution. In the congress of 1776, he took an active part in the discussions which preceded the declaration of independence. He is said to have proposed some alterations in the original draft of that celebrated instrument: but the precise nature of them it is now impossible to ascertain.

John Rutledge

(1739-1800) Unquestionably the great character of South Carolina during the Revolution was John Rutledge, who was for a time invested with dictatorial powers. He possessed all the qualities which constitute the man born to win and command – an eloquence of astonishing power, and a daring and decision of will which always placed him before his fellow countrymen. He was born in South Carolina in 1739. At the commencement of the Revolution he was by successive elections a member of Congress till the year 1776, when he was elected president and commander-in-chief of South Carolina, in conformity to a constitution established by the people in that year. In this office he rendered important service to his country. In 1787 he assisted in framing a national constitution, and as soon as it was in operation, he was designated by President Washington as first associate judge of the supreme court of the United States.

Thomas Sumter

Also known as “The Gamecock,” Thomas Sumter was a Revolutionary war officer and user of guerrilla warfare. He favored democracy over aristocracy, the militia over a regular army, and states’ rights over a strong central government. He was a daring man, set on victory no matter the cost. When he died June 1, 1832, he was the last surviving general officer of the American Revolution.

Strom Thurmond

Born in Edgefield, SC, in 1902, J. Strom Thurmond had a political career full of accomplishments. He was South Carolina governor from 1947-1951, and in 1954 became the first and only United States Senator to be elected by a write-in vote. In 1997, Sen. Thurmond became the oldest and longest serving member of the US Senate. Throughout his career, he was the state's senior senator; he served as President Pro Tempore of the Senate, was chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and was the ranking member of the Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Business Rights and Competition. In January 2003, at age 100, Thurmond retired from public service after his eighth term. He returned to his hometown of Edgefield, where he passed away on Thursday, June 26, 2003.

Aaron Tippin

Aaron Tippin grew up in Greenville, SC and started singing as a way to pass time while plowing on his family’s farm. He is now a country music star with several country hits to his credit.

William Barret Travis

(1809-1836) Born in South Carolina on August 9, 1809, William Barret Travis will always be remembered as the Texas commander at the Battle of the Alamo. He spent his childhood in Saluda County, which was also the home of James Butler Bonham, another Alamo defender. Travis commanded the Texas defenders during the Siege and Battle of the Alamo. His appeal from the Alamo for reinforcements has become an American symbol of unyielding courage and heroism. Although a few reinforcements arrived before the Alamo fell, Travis and over 180 defenders gave their lives for Texas independence on March 6, 1836.

Vanna White

Vanna White, Wheel of Fortune game show hostess since 1982, hails from North Myrtle Beach, SC.