Byrnes, James Francis | South Carolina Public Radio


"B" is for Byrnes, James Francis (1882-1972). Congressman, U.S. senator, U.S. Supreme Court justice, U.S. secretary of state, governor. Over his lifetime, Byrnes—a native of Charleston--held many public positions. As a U.S. Congressman (1911-1925), he helped establish the first national highway program. In the U.S. Senate (1930-1936), he was an influential advocate of New Deal programs. In 1941 he was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. He resigned sixteen months later to become director of the Office of Economic Stabilization. In 1943 he became director of war mobilization, a position with enough power to earn him the name of “Assistant President.” As U.S. secretary of state (1945-1947), Byrnes played a key role in the rebuilding of war-torn Europe. In 1950, James Francis Byrnes returned home to South Carolina and was elected governor.

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