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Robert Evander McNair
South Carolina

Gov. Robert Evander McNair

  • April 22, 1965 - January 19, 1971
  • Democratic
  • December 13, 1923
  • South Carolina
  • University of South Carolina
  • Married Josephine Robinson; four children
  • Succeeded
  • Navy


ROBERT EVANDER MC NAIR was born in Cades, South Carolina. He received an A.B. and an LL.B. from the University of South Carolina in 1947 and 1948, respectively. McNair served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as Lieutenant, J.G., spending twenty-two months in the Pacific Theater. He was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives from Allendale County in 1961. In 1963 he was elected Lieutenant Governor and served in that post until he succeeded Donald Russell as governor, winning election as governor in his own right in 1966. During his gubernatorial administration, McNair saw the state through a turbulent period of school desegregation and civil unrest in the late 1960s while leading major initiatives in education reform and industrial recruitment. He chaired the southern Regional Education Board, the Education Commission of the States, the Southern Governors’ Association, and the Democratic Governors’ Association. He was also Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee in 1969 and 1970. After leaving public office, he became a partner in a law firm. McNair’s other private sector positions included President of the Investors Heritage Life Insurance Company, Director of AIRCO, Inc., Director of the Southern Railway System, and Director of the R.L. Ryan Company.


Governors of the American States, Commonwealths and Territories, National Governors’ Conference, 1970.

McNair Law Firm

The Governors of the American States, commonwealths, and Territories: 1900-1980. Lexington, KY:  The Council of State Governments, 1980.

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