Carroll Campbell Jr., the 112th person to occupy the office of Governor of South Carolina, began his political career by helping a friend run for office.
Educated in South Carolina, Campbell was unable to attend college full-time for financial reasons. Instead, he went to work and took courses when he could. At age 19, he was working in the real estate business when he and a partner founded Handy Park Company, a successful chain of parking facilities. In 1967, he was principle in the formation of Rex Enterprises, which developed a chain of thirteen Burger King Restaurants before being sold in 1978.
In 1960, Campbell helped a friend run for office, and began his love of politics. Through the years, he managed campaigns for others, including the campaign that elected the first Republican mayor of Greenville, South Carolina. In 1970, Campbell was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives; he was re-elected in 1972. He lost a close race for Lieutenant Governor in 1974, and in 1975-1976, he served as Executive Assistant to Governor James B. Edwards. In 1976, Campbell was elected to the South Carolina Senate. 1978 saw his election to the Congress, where Campbell served for eight years. He was elected Governor of South Carolina in 1986 and was re-elected in 1990.
Never giving up on his education, Campbell continued his schooling at night while in Congress, going on to earn his M.A. in political science. He was elected to two national honor societies, Pi Sigma Alpha and Phi Kappa Phi. Campbell has received many awards and honors including the Watchdog of the Treasury Golden Bulldog Award for fiscal responsibility, the National Federation of Independent Business Guardian of Small Business Award for support of the free enterprise system each year the awards were given while he was a member of Congress, and he holds four honorary degrees. Campbell and his wife, Iris, have two sons, Carroll III and Mike.
Campbell was initiated into Greenville Chapter DeMolay in Greenville, South Carolina, in 1955. Campbell belonged to Ornan Lodge #69 A.F.M., a Scottish Rite Mason, and a Shriner. He was invested with the Knight Commander of the Court of Honor by the Scottish Rite, and received the DeMolay Legion of Honor in 1989. Campbell was inducted into the DeMolay Hall of Fame on June 25, 1993.
"In our time, as perhaps never before, young men everywhere need the positive influence of the Order of DeMolay. In the Vows and Cardinal Virtues of the Order, any young man may find a straight and clear path to manhood; to honor, to dignity, to self respect, to accomplishment, and success in his most difficult undertakings. In the face of all the challenges and all the obstacles one must confront in life, the lessons and the ideals of the Order of DeMolay are a source of wealth beyond price, and of truth which will endure forever."