Top 15 Most Influential People in South Carolina | Social Media Handles 2023

There are most influential people in South Carolina who have made a significant impact in the state and beyond.

From business moguls to political powerhouses, musicians, actors, and actresses, these people have made positive contributions to boosting the state’s economy.

To know the name of the most famous people in South Carolina, what they represent, and the impact they have made, read this article.

In this article, we have made a comprehensive list of the top 15 most influential people in South Carolina. Before that, you can also check out the guidelines on how to start a business In South Carolina.

The table of content below gives an overview:

15 Most Influential People In South Carolina

Here are the most famous people in South Carolina:

1. Mary McLeod Bethune

  • Date of Birth: July 10, 1875
  • Date of Death: May 18, 1955
  • Occupation: American educator, Philanthropist, Humanitarian, Womanist, and civil rights activist.
Mary McLeod Bethune

The first person on our list of the most influential people in South Carolina is Mary McLeod Bethune. Bethune McLeod was born on July 10, 1875 in Mayesville, South Carolina.

Bethune was known for her impact and positive influence in the lives of many especially girls. She founded the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute for Negro Girls in Florida in 1904 because she was interested in education.

She was also the president of the National Association of Colored Women. As the president, she played a key role in the development of the black women’s club movement.

As if that wasn’t enough, she participated in national conferences on education, child welfare, and home ownership as a delegate and advisor.

Over the years, she held different offices; director of Negro Affairs for the National Youth Administration, consultant for the Secretary of War, and also on interethnic relations and understanding at the National Council of Negro Women’s charter conference.

Some honours and awards she bagged include Honors the Commander of the Order of the Star of Africa from Liberia and the Haitian Medal of Honor and Merit.

Because of her impact and how famous she was, a statue honouring her was erected in Washington, DC when she passed away on May 18, 1955.

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2. Chadwick Boseman

  • Date of Birth: November 29, 1976
  • Date of Death: August 28, 2020
  • Occupation: Actor
Chadwick Boseman

Chadwick Boseman is another person on our list of the most famous people in South Carolina. He was an American actor born on November 29, 1976, to African American parents.

The actor started his acting career by acting in several TV shows after finishing his studies.

He soon started working in movies as well. As an actor, he was best known for his roles as Jackie Robinson in the film 42 and as R&B singer James Brown in the film Get on Up.

He was also well-known for playing Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War and Black Panther movies that are part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise.

The actor garnered many nominations for awards for his outstanding acting performances.

He loved playing basketball, which he did in addition to acting. Unfortunately, Cancer took his life prematurely, and he passed away at the age of 43.

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3. Brig. Gen. Charles F. Bolden Jr., USMC

  • Date of Birth: August 19, 1946
  • Age: 76
  • Occupation: Astronaut
Brig. Gen. Charles F. Bolden Jr., USMC

When we talk about the most influential people in South Carolina, personalities like Charles F. Bolden should not be left out.

Bolden, who was born on August 19th, 1946, was the former Administrator of NASA, a retired United States Marine Corps Major General, a former astronaut, and currently a C.A. Johnson Senior High.

While in office, he assisted in the deployment of the SARCOM KU satellite and has flown the shuttle Discovery, which launched the Hubble telescope, the shuttle Atlantis, and the first US-Russian mission.

Some of the honours and awards he bagged include Leadership Medal, Exceptional Service Medal, and Space Flight Medal.

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Read Also: 15 Highest-Paid Lawyers in South Carolina |2022

4. James Butler Bonham

  • Date of Birth: February 20, 1807
  • Date of Death: March 6, 1836 
  • Occupation: American soldier
James Butler Bonham

Until eternity, South Carolina will always be grateful for what James Butler Bonham did. That’s why, to date, he is still renowned as one of the most influential people in South Carolina.

James Butler Bonham was one of the courageous men who gave their lives defending the Alamo. He was born on February 20, 1807, in Red Banks, New Jersey.

He enrolled at South Carolina College but was expelled along with the rest of the senior class for disobeying the school’s rules and food.

After that, he went to law school and started a practice in Pendleton. Two times, Bonham was dispatched as a messenger to find more soldiers for the Alamo garrison.

Then on March 3, 1836, he broke through the Mexican lines and rode back into the Alamo while coming under heavy fire.

Three days after that, he perished alongside Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, and his childhood friend Col. William Travis.

Because of his heroic deed, The town of Bonham, Texas is named after him and Fannin County is named after the commander who Bonham tried to enjoin for assistance at the Alamo.

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5. Edgar A. Brown

  • Date of Birth: July 11, 1888
  • Date of Death: June 26, 1975 
  • Occupation: Politician
Edgar A. Brown

Edgar A. Brown made his name as a legislator for the state for about 50 years. In addition to serving as House Speaker from 1925 to 1926, he also served as Senate President Pro Tem and Chairman of the influential Finance Committee from 1942 to 1971.

To pay for the state’s modern highway system, Sen. Brown is credited with issuing bonds backed by the proceeds of the gasoline tax.

The South Carolina Educational Television system, which serves as the template for ETV stations across the country, was created because of his legislation requiring fiscal responsibility in state government and a strong educational system at all levels.

Prior to Brown’s passing in 1975, the Edgar A. Brown Building, a piece of the South Carolina State House Complex in Columbia, was dedicated in his honour.

 6. Chris Rock

  • Date of Birth: February 7, 1965 
  • Age: 57
  • Occupation: Comedian, Actor, Director, Producer, Singer, and Writer.
Chris Rock

Chris Rock is another person topping the chart in our list of the most famous people born in South Carolina.

Born on February 7, 1965, Rock is an American stand-up comedian, actor, director, producer, singer, and writer.

At 19, he began his standup comedy career by appearing in a variety of small New York City nightclubs.

But when he was chosen to join the cast of the sketch comedy show “Saturday Night Live,” he got his big break.

His career started to reflect his versatility as he expanded his resume by writing the screenplay for the movie CB4 and appearing in his debut HBO series, Big Ass Jokes.

Following appearances in a number of popular HBO comedy specials, his popularity and fame as a phenomenal standup comedian reached their peak.

Soon after, his reputation started to decline. In an effort to revive his waning career, he returned to performing in small nightclubs and again addressed sensitive topics like racial relations. He returned with a bang by landing important roles in movies and TV shows.

Some of the Primetime Emmy Awards he got include outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special, Outstanding Writing for a Variety or Music Program, Outstanding Variety, and Music or Comedy Special.

He also got Grammy Awards for the best-spoken comedy Album in 1998, 2000, 2004, and 2004.

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7. Viola Davis

  • Date of Birth: 11 August 1965
  • Age: 57
  • Occupation: Actress
Viola Davis

On August 11, 1965, Viola Davis was born at her grandparents’ house in St. Matthews, South Carolina, in the United States.

American actress and producer Viola is well-known. She put a lot of effort into overcoming her difficult early years.

In less than ten years, she took the acting plunge and made appearances on TV, in movies, and on stage, establishing a solid reputation.

She is the first black actress to receive three “Academy Award” nominations, as well as the first to win the Triple Crown of Acting, which includes the Tony, Emmy, and Oscar Awards.

In addition to this, Viola Davis received two awards from the “African-American Film Critics Association.”

The actress also started appearing in small roles on big screens at the same time. Davis’ passion and love for acting led to her appearing in dozens of films and television sitcoms.

Her credits on the small and big screens are unquestionably impressive, but her talents have truly shone on the stage.

Davis has been portraying stereotypical African-American roles while giving each one of them a special touch.

The actress was also included in “Time” magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

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Read Also: 15 Highest paid Police In South Carolina |2022

8. John C. Calhoun

  • Date of Birth: March 18, 1782
  • Date of Death: March 31, 1850
  • Occupation: Politician
John C. Calhoun

Another South Carolinian that is famous is John Caldwell Calhoun. John Caldwell Calhoun was born on March 18, 1782, in Abbeville District, South Carolina.

Calhoun graduated with honours from Yale University in 1804, then attended law school and was admitted to the South Carolina bar in 1807.

He served as the seventh vice President of the United States from 1825 to 1832. He was a prominent American statesman and political theorist from South Carolina who held several significant positions while vehemently defending slavery and advancing the interests of the white South.

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9. James Joseph Brown

  • Date of Birth: May 3, 1933
  • Date of Death: May 3, 1933
  • Occupation: American singer, dancer, musician, and record producer
James Joseph Brown

James Joseph Brown, a very well-known American musician, made a significant contribution to the growth of many musical genres, including rap music, funk music, and soul music.

The way music was made in America was reimagined over the course of this highly influential artist’s six-decade career. He is recognized as one of the creators of funk music and has been given many titles, including “The Godfather of Soul,” “The Original Disco Man,” and “Mr. Dynamite’.

Brown’s life is a classic example of a rags-to-riches story; he was born into extreme poverty during the Great Depression, had a challenging upbringing, and as a young person, he started engaging in criminal activity and street fighting.

He began singing and joined Bobby Byrd’s vocal ensemble, The Gospel Starlighters, after serving a prison sentence. He quickly rose to the position of group leader thanks to his emotive and strong voice.

Brown could play more than 330 shows annually, and his touring productions were the most lavish in American pop music.

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10. Big Show

  • Date of Birth: February 8, 1972
  • Age: 50 years
  • Occupation: WWE Wrestler
big show

Big Show, also known as Paul Donald Wight II, is a professional wrestler and actor from the United States who competes for World Wrestling Entertainment’s RAW brand at the moment (WWE).

He worked odd jobs when he met Danny Bonaduce, a South Carolina native who eventually introduced him to Hulk Hogan.

Hogan was greatly impressed by Wight’s performance in the ring and brought up his name to a number of his coworkers, including Vice President of World Championship Wrestling Eric Bischoff.

He debuted in professional wrestling in 1995 for WCW using the ring name “The Giant.” He joined the New World Order (nWo) group during his time in the company, which in the late 1990s effectively controlled the WCW programming.

Wight switched to the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), their main rival, in February 1999 and took on the ring name “Big Show.”

Big Show became one of the most popular and successful professional wrestlers in the history of sports entertainment throughout the coming years.

He has held the titles of WWF/WWE Champion, WWE World Heavyweight Champion, ECW World Heavyweight Champion, and WCW World Heavyweight Champion four times each.

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11. Mary-Louise Parker 

  • Date of Birth: August 2, 1964
  • Age: 50 Years
  • Occupation: Actress
Mary-Louise Parker 

Next on our list of the most famous people in South Carolina is Mary Louise Parker.

American actress Mary Louise Parker is most recognized for her work in television. She has experimented with several acting styles and has been in indie and commercial films, television shows, and theater.

She claims she enjoys theatre the most since she feels most at ease and is inspired there. Mary Louise Parker was interested in performing as a teenager, and after college, she pursued acting as a major.

This talented actress has won several honours, including the Golden Globe, Tony, and Primetime Emmy Awards.

She is renowned for playing outgoing, outspoken women. But in reality, her acquaintances describe her as having an unusual and quirky personality.

Mary Louise Parker has dabbled in writing besides her acting career; she started with essays for Esquire magazine and published a book in 2015. She has been showing her support for many humanitarian causes.

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Read Also: How To Start A Business In South Carolina In 2022: The Ultimate Guide, Step-by-Step

12. Nikki Haley

  • Date of Birth: January 20, 1972
  • Age: 50 years
  • Occupation: politician
Mary-Louise Parker 

Nikki Haley is another famous person born in South Carolina. She is a Republican politician from the United States.

She became the first woman to hold the office of governor of South Carolina when she succeeded Bobby Jindal as the second Indian American governor of the country.

She served as the Lexington County representative in the South Carolina House of Representatives for several years before being elected governor.

With her declared objectives of cutting taxes and improving the management of funds allotted for public education, she established herself as a well-liked politician.

Her position on these topics made it easy for her to win two elections. She successfully ran for governor of South Carolina in 2010 and took office in 2011.

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13. Jaimie Alexander

  • Date of Birth: March 12, 1984
  • Age: 38 Years
  • Occupation: Actress
Jaimie Alexander

American actress Jaimie Alexander is best known for her parts in the movies and television shows “Thor,” “Kyle XY,” and “Blindspot.” She is known for her action-packed roles, beauty, athletic ability, and fitness.

She was born Jaimie Lauren Tarbush. Her athletic expertise guarantees that she can easily play physically demanding parts like Lady Sif and Jane Doe.

She even pulls off her antics. She is stern and very disciplined in real life, just like her well-liked on-screen characters.

It is believed that she once fractured her nose while filming but kept going. She has a sizable fan base and is active on Twitter and Instagram.

When her fans learned she wouldn’t be appearing in “Thor: Ragnarok,” the third instalment in the Thor saga, they were quite sad. She is well known for her beautiful body and acting skills.

It regularly featured her striking outfits at red carpet events in newspaper gossip pages. She intends to enter the production industry in the upcoming years.

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14. Darius Rucker

  • Date of Birth: May 13, 1966
  • Age: 56 Years
  • Occupation: American singer, songwriter, and musician
Darius Rucker

Darius Carlos Rucker is a well-known American singer, songwriter, and musician. He not only started the Grammy Award-winning rock group Hootie & the Blowfish but also served as both its lead guitarist and vocalist for a while.

Over the years, he has released several studio albums with the band, and several of their songs have reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

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Read Also: 15 Highest paid Police In South Carolina |2022

15. Lee Thompson Young

  • Date of Birth: February 1, 1984
  • Age: 29 Years
  • Occupation: Actor
Lee Thompson Young

Finally, on our list of the most influential people in South Carolina is American actor Lee Thompson Young.

Thompson is known for his roles as Chris Comer in the 2004 film “Friday Night Lights” and The Famous Jett Jackson, the star of the Disney Channel series.

In the police drama “Rizzoli & Isles” on TNT, he played the police investigator, Barry Frost.

He started working as a youngster since he was interested in performing from a very young age.

He pursued acting as a career after playing Martin Luther King in the play “A Night of Stars and Dreams” when he was eleven.

He liked writing as much as acting. He also loved travelling and was an enthusiastic photographer.

Young strongly supported the Children’s Defense Fund because she had a strong enthusiasm for kids and education.

Despite being a person who enjoyed making others happy, he was unhappy with his own life.

He committed suicide in August 2013 after years of battling bipolar disorder and clinical depression.

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The most influential people in South Carolina are those who have made a significant impact on the state through their work, whether it be in politics, business, or philanthropy. These individuals have shaped the course of South Carolina’s history and will continue to do so in the years to come.



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