South Carolina is the birthplace of a lot of famous people, but do you know the ones who took their last breath in our beautiful state? Here are 14 famous people who may not have been born here, but lived here and died here.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Marva Collins (Civil Rights Activist & Educator) 1936-2015
She was an extraordinary woman who developed a school for, who others claimed to be, children who could not learn. She developed the Collins Method, a method of teaching these students that yielded a high rate of graduates. Sadly, this woman who had fought so hard for the children of America took her last breath in Beaufort, SC. She had been on hospice care for a period of time.
2. William Westmoreland (U.S. Army General) 1914-2005
William Westmoreland was a 4-star General who oversaw troops in Vietnam. He had been named "Man of the Year" by Time Magazine in 1965. After his retirement from the military he moved to Charleston, SC, where he was a public speaker for a short time. He passed away July 18, 2005 at a retirement home in Charleston. He had been married to his wife for approximately 58 years and they had raised three children.
3. Septima Poinsette Clark (Civil Rights Activist & Educator) 1898-1987
She became a teacher in a time when it was difficult for her to find a job. She became an activist for the advancement of the African-American people and for their education. She fought hard for others and prevailed. In 1979, Jimmy Carter gave her the Living Legacy Award and in 1982, she received The Order of the Palmetto, which is the highest civilian honor. She passed away on Johns Island but her legacy lives on.
4. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney (Diplomat & Military Leader) 1746-1825
Charles Pinckney worked as a legislator, as George Washington's aide, became a brigadier general, and was named U.S. Minister of France. He died where he was born in Charleston.
5. Melvin Purvis (Civil Servant/FBI Agent) 1903-1960
He's the FBI Agent from the little town of Timmonsville, SC who "got Dillinger". In fact, he hunted down quite a few of the big bad guys in his day. Unfortunately, something went wrong somewhere along the line and either by mistake or intent, he shot himself in the head in Florence, SC.
6. Strom Thurmond (Governor & U.S. Representative) 1902-2003
Strom Thurmond was born in Edgefield, SC and was famously known as the oldest person to serve in Congress. He was also known for his stance on segregation. Strom Thurmond died in the same town he was born in, Edgefield, SC.
7. Shoeless Joe Jackson (Baseball Player) 1887-1951
Shoeless Joe Jackson was a major league baseball player who hit some hard times in the later part of his career. He then moved back to South Carolina to Greenville where he passed December 5, 1951.
8. Mickey Spillane (Author) 1918-2006
Mickey Spillane was an author of pulp fiction and crime novels. Probably best known for his character, Mike Hammer. He passed away in Murrell's Inlet, SC.
9. Robert Smalls (Sea Captain & Politician) 1939-1915
Robert didn't start life with a silver spoon in his mouth. He was a slave who broke free. He became a sea captain for a short time and then he was elected into the South Carolina House of Representatives. He served in the State Senate for a few years before moving on to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1874. Robert Smalls was born and died in Beaufort, SC.
10. Joseph Pulitzer (Publisher/Business Leader) 1847-1911
Joseph Pulitzer was an amazing journalist who set people's teeth on edge. He also bought and sold companies until he owned one of the biggest papers in New York. Mr. Pulitzer passed away in Charleston, SC.
11. Charles Pinckney (U.S. Governor, Diplomat, U.S. Representative, Writer) 1757–1824
Charles Pinckney served South Carolina in every way you could possibly think. He did lead a very full life in South Carolina government. He was born and died in Charleston, SC.
12. John Lindsay (Mayor & Lawyer) 1921-2000
John Lindsay was a force to be reckoned with in his formative years in New York. After retirement in 1999, he moved to Hilton Head, SC with his wife. Unfortunately, he passed December 19, 2000.
13. James Dickey (Author, Poet, Literary Critic) 1923-1997
James Dickey served in the Korean War. When he was back in the States, he wrote poetry and won The National Book Award. However, you may know him better as the man who wrote the novel, Deliverance, which was later turned into a movie starring Burt Reynolds. James Dickey died in Columbia, SC.
14. Alonzo J. Ransier (Governor, Civil Rights Activist, U.S. Representative) 1834-1882
Alonzo Ransier was elected lieutenant governor of South Carolina in 1870 and was elected to Congress in 1872. He fought valiantly for civil rights however, he spent his later years as a laborer. He passed away in Charleston, SC, the city of his birth.
What did you think of our list? Who would you add to it? Tell us in the comments below!