Governor Henry Dargan McMaster, a longtime public servant of South Carolina, was born May 27, 1947, in Columbia, South Carolina. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of South Carolina in 1969 and as an undergraduate was a member of Kappa Alpha Order and the South Carolina Student Legislature.
In 1973, he graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he was on the editorial board of the South Carolina Law Review. Later that year, he was admitted to the Richland County Bar Association. He also served in the U.S. Army Reserves, receiving an honorable discharge in 1975.
Upon graduation from law school, he was a legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond in Washington, D.C., and joined the law firm of Tompkins and McMaster in 1974. He was later admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court, U.S. Court of Claims, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States. Governor McMaster practiced law for over 40 years, as a federal and state prosecutor and in private practice in both state and federal courts.
Governor McMaster was was elected attorney general of South Carolina in 2002 and reelected in 2006. As attorney general, Governor McMaster made prosecution of criminal domestic violence a priority and led a crackdown on child internet predators. He extended the South Carolina grand jury’s jurisdiction to environmental and gang crimes and broadened its authority to include securities crimes.
Following service on the South Carolina Ports Authority Board of Directors, he was elected lieutenant governor in 2014. As lieutenant governor, he led efforts to protect our state’s growing senior citizen population with social, economic, and health support services, which earned national recognition from AARP. McMaster was sworn in as governor in January 2017 following then – Governor Nikki Haley’s appointment as United States Ambassador to the United Nations and was elected to a full term as governor in November 2018.