Back to former South Carolina governors
Donald Stuart Russell
South Carolina

Gov. Donald Stuart Russell

  • January 15, 1963 - April 22, 1965
  • Democratic
  • February 22, 1906
  • February 22, 1998
  • South Carolina
  • University of Michigan, University of South Carolina
  • Married Virginia Utsey; four children
  • Resigned
  • Senator
  • Army


DONALD STUART RUSSELL was born in Lafayette Springs, Mississippi. He attended the University of Michigan and received an A.B. degree in 1925 and a law degree in 1928 from the University of South Carolina. He was a member of the Price Adjustment Board of the U.S. War Department in 1942 and Assistant to the Director of War Mobilization in 1943. In 1944 he served as a Major in the U.S. Army’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Forces in Europe. And when World War II ended, he served as Deputy Director of the Office of War Mobilization Reconversion. Russell went on to become Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of State and a member of the Committee on the Reorganization of the U.S. Foreign Service. He was President of the University of South Carolina from 1951 to 1957, after which he practiced law before mounting his successful gubernatorial campaign. While he was governor, Clemson College admitted its first African-American student, African-Americans entered the University of South Carolina, and a number of school systems began the process of ending segregation. When South Carolina’s U.S. Senator Olin Johnston died in April, 1965, Russell was appointed to fill his Senate seat. Russell served in the Senate until 1966, was a U.S. District Judge from 1967 to 1971, and was appointed a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Fourth Judicial Circuit in 1971.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

Recent South Carolina Governors