Donald Russell: A Life of Public Service

Presented by the South Caroliniana Library

Exhibit Home | Early Life | War Years | USC President | Political Life | Judicial Life | Credits

Painting of Donald RussellFew individuals achieve the success that Donald S. Russell (1906-1998) enjoyed in life, fewer still achieve success in such a wide range of arenas, and even fewer have active careers of the duration of Russell's.

Russell held important positions in the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration during World War II, then returned to South Carolina to practice law. Russell served as President of the University of South Carolina from 1952 until 1957, when he resigned to run for governor. He was unsuccessful in his first attempt, but won in 1962.

Upon the death of U.S. Senator Olin D. Johnston, Russell stepped down as governor and was appointed to serve as senator until a special election could be held. Russell was praised for his acumen and activities as senator, but was defeated by Fritz Hollings in the 1966 special election. President Lyndon Johnson appointed Russell a U.S. District Court judge in 1967 and, in 1971, he was appointed to the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. He served as an appellate court judge until the time of his death, in 1998, on his 92nd birthday.





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