|Name||Grady L. Patterson, Jr.|
, South Carolina , United States
|| January 13, 1924
|Died||December 07, 2009
|Last Modifed||SC Moose|
Dec 11, 2009 09:15am
|Info||Grady L. Patterson, Jr., was born to Grady L. and Claudia (McClain) Patterson in Calhoun Falls, a small town in Abbeville County. He grew up working on the family farm with his brothers and sister. They worked long hours in the cotton fields of South Carolina�s Piedmont Region. As he got older, Grady went to Columbia once a week with his uncle to trade at the old Farmer�s Market on Assembly Street and learned a little of the world outside of Abbeville County. |
Early on, Grady�s family instilled the need for a college education and encouraged him to study and learn. He was accepted, and attended Clemson College beginning in 1942. But, as so many other young men at the time, Grady answered the call to serve his country in World War II and left Clemson College after only one semester.
It was in the fields of his father�s farm � when a plane flew by at treetop level one day � that Grady decided he would like to become a pilot. He joined the Army Air Corps as a second lieutenant and became a fighter pilot. After training on airfields around the United States that summer of 1943, Grady was sent to the Pacific Theater. He spent the rest of the war escorting bombers from the island of Iwo Jima and saw significant action in the skies over Japan. He was standing in his camp at Iwo Jima when he learned of the United States� victory in August 1945.
Grady joined the National Guard upon his return from World War II. He spent forty years with the SC Air Guard eventually earning the rank of Lieutenant General (three-stars) by his retirement. On February 1, 1984, Major General Patterson was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal of the United States of America by the President for "...exceptionally meritorious service in a Duty of Great Responsibility." He was promoted by the General Assembly of South Carolina to Lieutenant General, the first Air Guardsman to be so recognized. During his service, he was placed on active duty in the Korean War and the Berlin Conflict. He flew every fighter plane stationed at McEntire Air National Guard Base in Richland County while in the military.
When he returned to South Carolina from the Pacific, he enrolled at the University of South Carolina. Upon graduation Grady decided to enter the USC School of Law. He earned his degree fully expecting to return to Abbeville County to practice law upon graduation.
It was during law school that Grady met Ms. Marjorie H. Faucett of Union while she was the President of Columbia College�s student body. "My best day of work," Grady says, "was convincing Marjorie to marry me." They now have six children and twelve grandchildren and are active in Shandon Presbyterian Church.
South Carolina Attorney General Dan McLeod soon recruited Grady from law school to become a member of his staff as Assistant Attorney General. For seven years, he served the state as Assistant Attorney General traveling South Carolina. Grady spent much of his time on Interstate construction litigation, but also worked on a wide variety of other cases battling legendary court figures such as Sol Blatt and Tom Pope. Grady was also assigned as legal counsel to the State Treasurer�s Office and the State Board of Bank Control (now the Board of Financial Institutions) and learned of the challenges facing rural South Carolina in the 1950�s and 60�s.
In 1966, four term South Carolina State Treasurer Jefferson B. Bates unexpectedly passed away and state leaders came to Grady L. Patterson, Jr., and asked him to run for the vacant post. With strong background knowledge of county and state funding practices through his years as Assistant Attorney General, Grady worked night and day, and was elected for the first time that year.
Grady L. Patterson, Jr. has spent his life in the service of his state and his country. His dedication has brought accolades from voters, citizens, state and national leaders. He continues to energetically safeguard South Carolina�s finances and innovate for our future.