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Donald S. Russell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Donald S. Russell
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
In office
April 23, 1971 – February 22, 1998
Appointed byRichard Nixon
Preceded bySimon Sobeloff
Succeeded byWilliam Byrd Traxler Jr.
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina
In office
November 3, 1966 – May 1, 1971
Appointed byLyndon B. Johnson
Preceded byCharles Cecil Wyche
Succeeded bySolomon Blatt Jr.
United States Senator
from South Carolina
In office
April 22, 1965 – November 8, 1966
Preceded byOlin D. Johnston
Succeeded byFritz Hollings
107th Governor of South Carolina
In office
January 15, 1963 – April 22, 1965
LieutenantRobert Evander McNair
Preceded byFritz Hollings
Succeeded byRobert Evander McNair
21st President of the University of South Carolina
In office
Preceded byFrancis Wright Bradley
Succeeded byRobert Sumwalt
Personal details
Donald Stuart Russell

(1906-02-22)February 22, 1906
Lafayette County, Mississippi
DiedFebruary 22, 1998(1998-02-22) (aged 92)
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Resting placeGreenlawn Memorial Gardens
Political partyDemocratic
EducationUniversity of South Carolina (AB)
University of South Carolina School of Law (LLB)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Battles/warsWorld War II

Donald Stuart Russell (February 22, 1906 – February 22, 1998) was an attorney from South Carolina who served as Assistant Secretary of State for Administration, President of the University of South Carolina, Governor of South Carolina, United States Senator from South Carolina, United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina and United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Education and career

Russell was born on February 22, 1906, in the unincorporated community of Lafayette Springs in Lafayette County, Mississippi, his father dying the year of his birth. In 1914, he moved with his family to Chester, South Carolina. He received an Artium Baccalaureus degree from the University of South Carolina in 1925. He received a Bachelor of Laws from University of South Carolina School of Law and passed the South Carolina bar in 1928. He studied graduate level law at the University of Michigan Law School in 1929. He was in private practice of law in Union, South Carolina from 1929 to 1930. He was in private practice of law with the law firm of Nichols, Wyche and Byrnes in Spartanburg, South Carolina from 1930 to 1942. He served on the Price Adjustment Board of the War Department in 1942. He was assistant director of economic stabilization in 1942. He was an assistant to the director of war mobilization in 1943. He was in the United States Army as a Major in 1944. He was deputy director of the Office of War Mobilization Reconversion in 1945. He was an assistant secretary of state from 1945 to 1947. He was in private practice of law in Spartanburg from 1947 to 1951. He was President of the University of South Carolina from 1951 to 1957. He was in private practice of law in Spartanburg from 1957 to 1963. In 1958, he ran unsuccessfully for Governor of South Carolina.[1] He lost the Democratic primary to Ernest F."Fritz" Hollings.[2] He served as the 107th Governor of South Carolina from 1963 to 1965. On April 22, 1965, Russell resigned as governor, after which new governor Robert E. McNair appointed him to fill the seat vacated by the death of Olin D. Johnston as Democratic Senator, through 1966.[1][3][2][4][5]

Service as Assistant Secretary of State

In 1947, Russell began service as Assistant Secretary of State for Administration. He was a protégé of former Secretary of State James F. Byrnes. During that time, he became involved in the case of "Mr. Blank" and nine other State Department officials, dismissed for unspecified charges related to loyalty. The case became a sensation when journalist Bert Andrews obtained a secret transcript of Mr. Blank's case and published a series of articles in the New York Herald-Tribune starting on November 2, 1947.[1][3][2][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

Notable milestones as Governor

The following notable milestones occurred during Russell's service as Governor. On January 28, 1963, Clemson University enrolled its first-ever African-American student, Harvey Gantt.[5] On September 16, 1964, former Governor Strom Thurmond announced move to the Republican Party.[12] On October 29, 1964, Greenville native Charles Townes won Nobel Prize in Physics.[13] On November 3, 1964, a majority of South Carolina voters supported Barry Goldwater (first Republican presidential candidate to carry the state since Reconstruction)[4]

Federal judicial service

Russell was nominated by President Lyndon B. Johnson on October 11, 1966, to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina vacated by the death of Judge Charles Cecil Wyche. He was confirmed to this office by his fellow members of the United States Senate on October 20, 1966, and received his commission on November 3, 1966. His service was terminated on May 1, 1971, due to his elevation to the Fourth Circuit.[3][2][5]

Russell was nominated by President Richard Nixon on April 7, 1971, to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit vacated by Judge Simon Sobeloff. He was confirmed by the Senate on April 21, 1971, and received his commission on April 23, 1971. His service was terminated on February 22, 1998, due to his death.[3][2][5]

Relationship with James F. Byrnes

Russell's most notable political/professional relationship was with James F. Byrnes:

Russell's relationship with Byrnes became very important over the following years, particularly as Byrnes took on increasingly prominent positions in the Roosevelt administration. Russell went to Washington as Byrnes' assistant when Byrnes was appointed director of the Office of Economic Stabilization in October 1942. In May 1943, Russell followed Byrnes to the Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion, which Byrnes had been appointed to direct. In October 1944 Russell went on active duty serving at the Army's Supreme Allied Headquarters in Europe. Major Russell was discharged later that year. In early 1945, Russell served as Deputy Director of the Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion, then as Assistant Secretary of State for Administration, under Byrnes, from August 1945 to January 1947. Russell implemented plans for the reorganization of the Foreign Service and developed the first series of continual regional foreign policy statements, which was later to become standard practice. Russell's interest in the foreign service later led to his involvement on several federal committees. As the assistant to Byrnes, Russell was at Potsdam with President Harry Truman and Byrnes and took part in the decision to drop the first atomic bomb. Byrnes and Russell left the administration shortly after the war ended and joined Hogan & Hartson, a Washington, D.C., law firm.[2]

Personal, death and legacy

Russell (1953)
Russell (1953)

Russell was a Methodist.[4][5] Russell married Virginia Utsey; they had four children.[3][5] Russell died on his 92nd birthday, February 22, 1998.[1][3][2][4][5] His Spartanburg home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.[14] When he died, he left an estate left over $30 million (over $50 million in 2018), which he gained mostly through wise investments in insurance and utility companies and banks.[15]


  1. ^ a b c d "Russell, Donald Stuart (1906–1998)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Donald S. Russell Papers, 1929–1998". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Russell, Donald Stuart". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e "SC Governors, Donald S. Russell Papers, 1963–1965". SCiway. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "South Carolina Governor Donald Stuart Russell". SCiway. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  6. ^ Alsop, Joseph; Alsop, Stewart (August 15, 1947). "Matter of Fact: The Case of the Ten". Washington Post. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  7. ^ Andrews, Bert (November 2, 1947). "A State Department Security Case: The Story of an Employee Dismissed After 8-Month F.B.I. Investigation with the Nature of the Charges Against Him Never Revealed". New York Herald-Tribune. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  8. ^ Andrews, Bert (November 4, 1947). "7 Dropped as Loyalty Risk Say Statement Department Pursues Them: Protest Impairment of Their Job Opportunities". New York Herald-Tribune. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  9. ^ Andrews, Bert (November 6, 1947). "Marshall Says 'Security Risks' Can Appeal; Won't Tell Charges". New York Herald-Tribune. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  10. ^ Lindley, Ernest (November 3, 1947). "What Price Security? The Case of Mr. Blank". Washington Post.
  11. ^ Emerson, Thomas I.; Helfeld, David M. (January 1, 1948). "Loyalty Among Government Employees". Yale University. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  12. ^ "THURMOND BREAK IS MADE OFFICIAL" The New York Times. September 17, 1964.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Evans-Russell House, Spartanburg County (716 Otis Blvd, Spartanburg)". National Register Properties in South Carolina. South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Retrieved October 15, 2012.
  15. ^ Writer, ROBERT W. DALTON Staff. "Court ends bickering over ex-governor's will". GoUpstate. Retrieved August 12, 2018.


External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Fritz Hollings
Democratic nominee for Governor of South Carolina
Succeeded by
Robert Evander McNair
Government offices
Preceded by
Frank McCarthy
Assistant Secretary of State for Administration
September 24, 1945 – January 20, 1947
Succeeded by
John Peurifoy
Political offices
Preceded by
Ernest Hollings
Governor of South Carolina
January 15, 1963–April 22, 1965
Succeeded by
Robert Evander McNair
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Olin D. Johnston
 U.S. senator (Class 3) from South Carolina
April 22, 1965 – November 8, 1966
Served alongside: Strom Thurmond
Succeeded by
Ernest Hollings
Legal offices
Preceded by
Charles Cecil Wyche
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina
Succeeded by
Solomon Blatt Jr.
Preceded by
Simon Sobeloff
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Succeeded by
William Byrd Traxler Jr.
This page was last edited on 12 March 2021, at 07:01
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