Life in the Mansion

Governor Carroll A. Campbell, Jr. (1987-1995)

After a glowing career in the state House of Representatives and state Senate, Carroll A. Campbell became the second Republican since Reconstruction to serve as governor of South Carolina. As governor, he is credited with helping South Carolina through the destruction of Hurricane Hugo, pushing through a plan to restructure state government, and bringing $22 billion in capital investments to the state. Campbell is credited with luring BMW to the Upstate and building its first North American plant and recruiting companies such as Hoffmann-La Roche and Fuji Photo Film Co. to the state.

Campbell and familyFirst Lady Iris Campbell and son Mike spoke of the excitement of living in the Mansion but also the loss of privacy associated with it.  Mike recalled his early days at the Mansion, I'd just gotten up.  I kept hearing all these voices downstairs, and still not getting used to the situation I was in, I just kind of wandered to the top of the stairs in my boxer shorts to see what's going on.  I look down and there's a tour of some people from a retirement home standing there looking back up at me.”  

Campbel and vipMrs. Campbell also commented on Governor Campbell’s triumph in recruiting BMW to South Carolina, We had worked on that for several days, and finally I said, ‘Carroll, get them out of the house.  Take them out by the pool.  We'll put a little classical music on, we'll give them a nice lunch, they could smoke their cigars.’  They loved their cigars.  ‘We'll give them a nice little glass of wine.’  And they took out a cocktail napkin and they wrote the agreement on a cocktail napkin.  And that's how they sealed the deal with BMW.”  Mike concluded, It was funny, because there were a couple of issues that the intermediaries couldn't get past, that the lawyers were holding up, basically.  You got the two decision makers, the governor and the chairman of the board of BMW, in a relaxed atmosphere, away from everybody else, and they got it done within just a few minutes.” 

Visit SCPC to learn more about Governor Campbell and the collection.

 

 

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