RICHARD MANNING JEFFRIES was born in Cherokee County, South Carolina. He received an A.B. degree from the University of South Carolina in 1910, studied law, and was admitted to the South Carolina Bar in 1912. While a student, he taught school himself. In addition to going on to the practice of law, he was a newspaper editor for several years, Jasper County Superintendent (1912), a member of the South Carolina Democratic Executive Committee (1912), and Master in Equity and Probate Judge in Colleton County (1913-1927). He was a member of the South Carolina Senate for thirty-two years–two of them as President Pro Tempore. In accordance with the South Carolina Constitution, upon the death of Joseph E. Harley–who as Lieutenant Governor had succeeded to the governorship pursuant to the resignation of Burnet R. Maybank, Jeffries as Senate President Pro Tempore assumed the governorship himself. During Jeffries; brief tenure as governor, South Carolina was on a war footing, and twice in 1942 German submarines placed mines in Charleston;s harbor. When Olin Johnston was inaugurated, Jeffries returned to the state legislature. He chaired the South Carolina War Fund from 1943 to 1946 and was director of the Fund in 1944 and 1945. He was a member of the Democratic National Platform Committee in 1956 and 1960 and a member of the South Carolina Tax Study Commission. From 1944 until his death in 1964, he served as General Manager of the South Carolina Public Service Authority–on which he had begun serving as General Counsel in 1934.
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.