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South Carolina

SC Governors – James Burrows Edwards, 1975-1979

South Carolina SC History SC Governors Governor James Burrows Edwards

Also see: SC Government

Biographical Overview

  • Born: June 24, 1927 in Hawthorne, FL
  • Died: December 26, 2014 in Mount Pleasant
  • Buried: Christ Church Cemetery in Mount Pleasant
  • Religion: Methodist
  • Political Party: Republican
Portrait of James Burrows Edwards
James Burrows Edwards
Courtesy of South Carolina Legislative Manual


  • College of Charleston - B.S. 1950
  • University of Louisville, School of Dentistry - Louisville, KY, D.M.D. 1955
  • University of Pennsylvania, post-graduate studies - 1957-1958


  • Ship's Officer, US Maritime Service - 1944-1947
  • Lieutenant Commander, US Naval Reserve - 1955-1957
  • Dentist and Oral Surgeon
  • President of the Medical University of South Carolina - 1982

Major Events and Accomplishments, 1975–1979

  • November 5, 1974 – Governor Edwards was the first Republican to be elected governor of South Carolina since the end of Reconstruction
  • October 13, 1975 – The Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum was dedicated
  • May 1977 – The 1st annual Spoleto Festival was held in Charleston
  • June 8, 1977 – Governor Edwards signed legislation reinstating the death penalty
  • June 10, 1977 – The General Assembly passed the Education Finance Act, redistributing state education funds to benefit poor school districts
  • October 22, 1977 – England's Prince Charles visited Charleston

Other Government Positions

  • South Carolina Senate, 1972-1975
  • Secretary of the US Department of Energy, 1981-1982

Other Accomplishments, Honors, Distinctions

  • 1958-1960 – Edwards completed his two year residency in oral surgery at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI

Web Resources

Election Results

Democratic Primary – 1974
Charles D. Ravenel 107,345 votes 33.6%
William Jennings Bryan Dorn 105,734 votes 33.1%
Earle E. Morris, Jr. 80,292 votes 25.2%

Democratic Runoff – 1974
Charles D. Ravenel 186,985 votes 54.8%
William Jennings Bryan Dorn 154,187 votes 45.2%
Although Ravenel won the runoff, Dorn received the Democratic nomination when the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that Ravenel did not meet the state's residency requirement for candidates in the gubernatorial election.

Republican Primary – 1974
James Burrows Edwards 20,177 votes 57.7%
William C. Westmoreland 14,777 votes 42.3%

General Election – November 5, 1974
James Burrows Edwards 266,109 votes 50.9%
W.J. Bryan Dorn 248,938 votes 47.6%


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