McNair, Robert Evander | South Carolina Public Radio


“M” is for McNair, Robert Evander [1923-2007]. Attorney, legislator, governor. During World War II, McNair served 23 months in the Pacific theater. After the war, he graduated from USC and moved to Allendale—the hometown of his wife, Josephine. From 1951 until 1963 he represented Allendale County in the South Carolina House of Representatives. In 1962 he was elected lieutenant governor. When Governor Donald Russell resigned in April 1965, McNair became governor. He was elected to a full term in 1966. The McNair administration coincided with major civil rights initiatives and significant protests and demonstrations. Except for the tragedy at Orangeburg and the incident at Lamar, he saw the state peacefully through difficult times—and guided it through the first year of total desegregation of the public school system. After leaving the governorship in 1971, Robert Evander McNair never held any other public office.