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Thomas A. Wofford

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thomas A. Wofford
Wofford Thomas A.jpg
Member of the South Carolina Senate
from the 3rd district
In office
January 10, 1967 – December 28, 1972
Preceded byPatrick B. Morrah Jr.
Succeeded bymulti-member district
United States Senator
from South Carolina
In office
April 5, 1956 – November 6, 1956
Appointed byGeorge Bell Timmerman, Jr.
Preceded byStrom Thurmond
Succeeded byStrom Thurmond
Personal details
Thomas Albert Wofford

(1908-09-27)September 27, 1908
Laurens County, South Carolina
DiedFebruary 25, 1978(1978-02-25) (aged 69)
Greenville, South Carolina
Political partyDemocratic (until 1966)
Republican (1966-death)
Spouse(s)Caro Wyche[1]
EducationUniversity of South Carolina (BA)
Harvard University (LLB)

Thomas Albert Wofford (September 27, 1908 – February 25, 1978) was a United States Senator from South Carolina. Born in Madden Station, Laurens County, South Carolina, he attended the public schools and graduated from the University of South Carolina at Columbia in 1928, and from Harvard University Law School in 1931.[2] He was admitted to the bar in the latter year and commenced the practice of law in Greenville. He was assistant solicitor of the thirteenth judicial circuit from 1935 to 1936, and was assistant United States district attorney from 1937 to 1944.

In 1947, Wofford defended the 31 white men charged with the Lynching of Willie Earle in Greenville, South Carolina.[3] The trial was highly publicized, and resulted in all of the defendants being acquitted of murder despite many of them having signed confessions.[4]

He was a member of the board of trustees of Winthrop College from 1944 to 1956. Wofford also was a delegate to the 1948 Democratic National Convention from South Carolina.

Wofford was appointed on April 5, 1956 as a Democrat to the US Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Strom Thurmond and served from April 5, 1956, to November 6, 1956; he was not a candidate for election to fill the vacancy, and engaged in the practice of law. He was a member of the South Carolina Senate from 1966 to 1972, and changed party affiliation to Republican. He resided in Greenville, and died there in 1978; interment was in Woodlawn Memorial Park.


  1. ^ a b Caro Wyche Wofford (1918-2007)
  2. ^ Hubbell, Martindale (1961). Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, Volume 3. Martindale-Hubbell.
  3. ^ West, Rebecca. "A Lynching Trial in Greenville". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  4. ^ Gravely, William B. (2019-03-05). They Stole Him Out of Jail: Willie Earle, South Carolina's Last Lynching Victim. Univ of South Carolina Press. ISBN 978-1-61117-938-5.
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Strom Thurmond
 U.S. senator (Class 2) from South Carolina
April 5, 1956 – November 6, 1956
Served alongside: Olin Johnston
Succeeded by
Strom Thurmond
This page was last edited on 23 February 2021, at 21:00
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