Famous people from South Carolina

South Carolina has produced individuals who have become famous in a variety of fields:

* Bill Anderson, born James William Anderson III on November 1, 1937 in Columbia; an American country music singer and songwriter, nicknamed "Whisperin' Bill." Arguably his biggest hit was the 1963 single "Still."
* Pink Anderson (born February 12, 1900 in Laurens; died October 12, 1974), blues singer and guitarist; inspired the "Pink" in Pink Floyd.
* Maj. Rudolph Anderson, Jr. (born September 15, 1927 in Greenville; died October 27, 1962), Air Force U2 pilot shot down over Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
* Charlotta Bass (born in Sumter), a newspaper publisher in Los Angeles, California, and the first African-American woman on a Presidential campaign ticket in 1952
* Shelton Benjamin (1976– ), born and raised in Orangeburg, he is a professional wrestler and former amateur wrestler now working for World Wrestling Entertainment's "ECW" brand.
* Brook Benton, (1931-1988) born Benjamin Franklin Peay in Lugoff. Popular soul singer of the 1960s, remembered for smooth baritone vocals on hits such as "Hotel Happiness", "Kiddio", and his signature tune, "Rainy Night In Georgia".
* Ben Bernanke (1953 — ), graduated from high school in Dillon in 1971. On October 24, 2005, President George W. Bush nominated Bernanke to succeed Alan Greenspan as Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Greenspan retired on January 31, 2006 after 18 years as chairman.
* Blue Sky (1938-), internationally-recognized painter and sculptor, was born in Columbia and has lived there for the majority of his life
* Robert Brooks, born in Greenwood, former wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers and the Denver Broncos
* J Anthony Brown, actor, comedian and radio personality from Columbia.
* James Brown (born May 4, 1933 in Barnwell Died December 25, 2006). The "Godfather of Soul," legendary singer and member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
* Sheldon Brown (March 19, 1979-) cornerback for the NFL Team the Philadelphia Eagles. He was born in Lancaster, SC and attended Lewisville High School in Richburg and played college football at the University of South Carolina.
* James F. Byrnes (May 2, 1879April 9, 1972), born in Charleston, Secretary of State under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, also served as Governor of South Carolina and as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Time Magazine's Person of the Year 1947.
* John C. Calhoun (1782 – 1850), born near Abbeville, a statesman and political philosopher. 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.
* Harry Carson, American football player, (born November 26, 1953), inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 5, 2006.
* Chubby Checker, singer, born Ernest Evans in Spring Gulley.
* Stephen Euin Cobb, author, futurist and host of the award-winning podcast "The Future And You", born in Orangeburg on February 3, 1955.
* Stephen Colbert, host of "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central since 2005; previously a correspondent for Comedy Central's "The Daily Show". A native of Charleston, he attended Porter Gaud School. Colbert also ran as a favorite son candidate for the 2008 presidential election in his native South Carolina.
* Monique Coleman (1980-), actress, "High School Musical", she was born in Orangeburg, SC.
* Pat Conroy, novelist, grew up in Beaufort, attended Beaufort High School and The Citadel in Charleston. He taught school in Beaufort and on remote Daufuskie Island near Hilton Head. All his novels have been set in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Conroy now lives on Fripp Island.
* Angell Conwell (1983-) an actress born in Orangeburg and raised in Columbia
* Reverend Gary Davis (April 30, 1896 - May 5, 1972), blues and gospel songwriter and innovative guitarist, born in Clinton.
* Kristin Davis, actress, best known for role as Charlotte York in "Sex and the City", attended AC Flora High School in Forest Acres (suburb of Columbia).
* Harold Denton, nuclear physicist, best known for his role in the "Three Mile Island accident"
* Andy Dick, born in Charleston, actor and comedian best known for his roles on TV sitcoms, including "NewsRadio" and "Less Than Perfect", as well as appearing on numerous comedy programs such as the Comedy Central Roasts
* Larry Doby, the first African-American player in Major League Baseball's American League, and only the second in either league after Jackie Robinson (Born in Camden).
* John Edwards, former N.C. Senator & 2004 Democratic Vice Presidential candidate, born in Seneca in 1953.
* Lilian Ellison (born July 22, 1923 - November 2,2007) a female professional wrestler better known as the Fabulous Moolah. She is a former WWF/WWE Women's World Champion. She is from Columbia.
* Alex English, basketball player, member of the Basketball Hall of Fame.
* Michael Flessas, actor, best know for his role in the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) winning film Dancer in the Dark at the Cannes Film Festival. He graduated from Columbia's Dreher High School and attended the University of South Carolina.
* Joe Frazier, 1964 Olympic heavyweight champion and the world heavyweight champ 1970-73; 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 was born in Beaufort on January 12, 1944.
* David Gaillard, engineer of the central portion of the Panama Canal, after which the main cut is named; born in Manning. He died of a brain tumor before the work was finished.
* Kevin Garnett (nicknamed "The Big Ticket"), an NBA basketball player for the Boston Celtics; born and raised in Mauldin.
* Leeza Gibbons of "Entertainment Tonight" and other Hollywood news shows grew up in Irmo, a suburb of Columbia.
* Althea Gibson (1927-2003), the first black female player to win the Wimbledon singles tennis title, was born in Silver.
* William Gibson, author and credited as the father of the Cyberpunk genre of science fiction, was born in Conway on March 17, 1948.
* Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993), John Birks 'Dizzy' Gillespie, considered by some to be the greatest jazz trumpeter of all time, was born in Cheraw.
* Orlando Hudson, (1977-) born in Darlington, South Carolina MLB second baseman for the Arizona Diamondbacks
* Lauren Hutton, one of the first supermodels & occasional actress, born in Charleston.
* Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), President of the United States; born near Lancaster but emigrated to Tennessee as an adult. He was the hero of the Battle of New Orleans and 7th President, from 1829 to 1837.
* Jesse Jackson, famous political and social figure, originally from Greenville.
* 'Shoeless' Joe Jackson (1887 – 1951). Considered to be one of the most outstanding hitters in the history of baseball, his career .356 batting average is the third highest in history, after Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby. He was born in Brandon Mills.
* James Jamerson (January 29, 1938 - August 2, 1983), born in Charleston. Legendary bass player and member of the Funk Brothers, the session band at Motown. Played on "Shotgun" by Jr. Walker and the All Stars, "For Once In My Life" by Stevie Wonder, "My Girl" by The Temptations and "What's Goin' On" by Marvin Gaye among many other Motown classics.
* Young Jeezy (1977 - ), born as Jay Jenkins is a rapper from Columbia.
* Jasper Johns, widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of the 20th century, was raised (albeit born in a Georgia hospital) in Allendale.
* Orlando Jones (1968-), a comedian and actor from Mauldin
* Eartha Kitt (1927- ), actress and singer, one of only a handful of performers to be nominated twice for both a Tony Award and Grammy Award, as well as for an Emmy Award. She hails from North.
* James Longstreet (1821-1904), controversial general of the Civil War, widely respected during the war as Lee's second-in-command, but later condemned by many of his peers for his criticisms of Lee at Gettysburg and for his post-war political affiliation. Longstreet was born in Edgefield District, now Edgefield County, although he was raised in northern Georgia.
* Francis Marion (1732-1795), also known as the "Swamp Fox", was a Brigadier General in the American Revolutionary War. The main character in the movie "The Patriot" is based largely on his exploits. Marion was born in Georgetown.
* Edwin McCain, recording artist who reached platinum status with his hit single "I'll Be", from his second album, "Misguided Roses", in 1998. McCain was born in Greenville.
* Andie MacDowell, film actress and model, most well-known for her roles in "Four Weddings and a Funeral","Groundhog Day" and "Green Card", was born in Gaffney and attended Winthrop College.
* Burnet Maybank, Prestigious and prominent politician and businessman; Charleston alderman 1927-31, mayor 1931-38, governor 1939-1941, and US senator 1941-54; never lost an election, made his money in cotton exporting; at one point was named one of the 20 most influential men in America by Fortune Magazine
* Roger "Rocky" McIntosh, an NFL player from Gaffney
* Dr. Ronald McNair (1950 – 1986), born in Lake City; one of the seven astronauts to die when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after take-off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on January 28, 1986.
* Darla Moore, billionaire business executive & international financier, born in Lake City.
* Kerry Mullis, born in Lenoir, North Carolina, and grew up in Columbia, South Carolina; received Nobel Prize for DNA amplification research. There is public controversy regarding credit for this research.
* Nancy O'Dell, born on February 25, 1966 in Myrtle Beach; an American television host and entertainment journalist.
* Jermaine O'Neal, born on October 13, 1978 in Columbia; a NBA player.
* Peggy Parish, author of a children's book series featuring a befuddled maid, Amelia Bedelia. She was from Manning.
* Kathleen Parker, nationally recognized columnist.
* Mary-Louise Parker, actress born in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, best-known works include "Fried Green Tomatoes", "Boys on the Side", "Proof", "The West Wing", "Angels in America", and her current role on Showtime's "Weeds".
* David Pearson, born in Spartanburg, South Carolina. NASCAR Cup Series Driver, Second on the All-Time wins list with 105 victories. Holds NASCAR highest winning percentage. Still a resident of Spartanburg.
* William Perry, better known as "The Refrigerator", became a household name after helping lead the Chicago Bears to the Super Bowl in the 1985/86 season. He played college football at Clemson University. He lives in his hometown of Aiken.
* John Phillips (1935-2001), best known as the founding member of The Mamas and The Papas. He was born in Parris Island.
* Bill Pinkney (1925-2007), was a performer and singer that was a member of the doo wop/R&B group, The Drifters. Pinkney was born in Dalzell.
* Melvin Purvis (1903-1960), FBI agent who captured more public enemies than anyone, including John Dillinger. He was born in Timmonsville.
* Jim Rice (1953- ), longtime star of the Boston Red Sox who won the American League Most Valuable Player award in 1978. Native of Anderson.
* James Oliver Rigney, Jr. (October 17, 1948 - September 16, 2007)), best known as the author of the bestselling "The Wheel of Time" fantasy series under the pen name Robert Jordan. Rigney was born in Charleston and holds an undergraduate degree in physics from The Citadel, the military college of South Carolina.
* Julie Roberts (1979- ) born in Lancaster. Country singer best known for her 2004 hit "Break Down Here". Received Top New Artist and Top New Female Vocalist nominations from The Academy of Country Music for her 2004 debut album "Julie Roberts".
* Chris Rock (born February 7, 1965), an American stand-up comedian and actor born in Andrews.
* Darius Rucker (1966-), lead singer of "Hootie and the Blowfish", was born in, and now resides near, Charleston.
* Reggie Sanders, Major League baseball player, born December 1, 1967 in Florence, SC; played for Spartanburg Methodist College; currently a free agent.
* Robert Smalls (1839-1915), born in Beaufort into slavery. He escaped to freedom at age 23 piloting the ship Planter. Helped write the South Carolina Constitution at the constitutional convention in Charleston in 1868. Elected to serve in the South Carolina legislature in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Later, Robert Smalls was elected to the United States House of Representatives.
* Shawnee Smith (July 3, 1970), film and television actress, was born in Orangeburg
* W. Thomas Smith Jr. (1959-), internationally recognized author and columnist, was born in Columbia.
* Angie Stone (born January 30, 1961), a Grammy Award-nominated American R&B and neo soul singer and songwriter from Columbia.
* Melanie Thornton (1967-2001), R&B/Pop/Dance Singer (former member of La Bouche), born in Charleston, died in a plane crash near Bassersdorf (Zürich), (Switzerland).
* Strom Thurmond (1902 – 2003), born in Edgefield in 1902. South Carolina governor from 1947 – 1951, and in 1954 became the first and only United States Senator elected by a write-in vote. In 1997, Senator Thurmond became the oldest and longest serving member of the U.S. Senate. In January 2003, at age 100, Thurmond retired from public service after his eighth term. He returned to his hometown where he died June 26, 2003.
* Aaron Tippin grew up inGreenville and started singing on his family’s farm. He is now a country music star with several country hits to his credit.
* Charles Townes (1915-), physicist and astronomer from Greenville, graduated from Furman University; winner of the 1964 Nobel Prize for Physics for his contributions to the invention of the laser and maser. He is Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of California-Berkeley.
* Josh Turner (born November 20, 1977 in Hannah) is an American country music singer. Turner possesses a very distinctive bass voice
*Caitlin Upton, fashion model and beauty queen (Miss South Carolina Teen USA 2007) from Lexington known for her garbled response to a question that was asked of her during the Miss Teen USA 2007 pageant, the video of which has garnered millions of views on websites such as YouTube.
* Angelica Singleton Van Buren (1818 – 1877), born in Wedgefield, married Abraham Van Buren while his father, Martin Van Buren was the eighth President of the United States. She served as First Lady of the United States for the rest of his term in the White House.
* John B. Watson psychologist, father of the Behaviorism movement
* Shawn Weatherly, Miss Universe 1980, the second woman from South Carolina and fifth from the U.S. to win the title. She also played Jill Riley in Season 1 of "Baywatch".
* William Westmoreland -- (born Spartanburg County, March 26, 1914July 18, 2005) was at one point commander of all United States ground forces in Vietnam and was also Chief of Staff of the United States Army.
* Vanna White, "Wheel of Fortune" game show hostess since 1982, hails from North Myrtle Beach.
* Paul Wight (1972 — ), born in Aiken, Wight also known as the Big Show, he is a former professional wrestler and former amateur wrestler
* Maurice Williams (1938-)
* Mookie Wilson is a former Major League Baseball player from Bamberg that played for the New York Mets and the Toronto Blue Jays
* Marian Wright Edelman (from Bennettsville), the founder and President of the Children's Defense Fund and the first Black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar.
* Joanne Woodward born in Thomasville, GA graduated from Greenville High School in Greenville, SC.


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