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  Charleston's first female legislator dies
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ContributorSC Moose 
Last EditedSC Moose  Feb 17, 2009 05:12pm
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MediaNewspaper - Charleston Post and Courier
News DateTuesday, February 17, 2009 11:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionVirginia Brockington Gourdin, the first woman from Charleston to serve in the state Legislature, died Saturday. She was 88.

Gourdin was born in Kingstree and grew up farming cotton, tobacco and pine trees — and was proud of it, her family said.

She came to Charleston in 1950 after earning degrees from Winthrop College, the University of South Carolina and Columbia University. She also studied at the University of Virginia and the University of California, Berkeley.

She worked as a librarian at the Harvard Graduate Business School and taught high school in Beaufort and Charleston, and in USC's English Department.

But it was her election to the state House in 1958 that focused attention on her. Only the fifth woman to serve in the General Assembly, and the first from Charleston County, she walked into a world controlled by some of the most famous names in 20th century South Carolina politics: House Speaker Solomon Blatt, future Gov. Robert McNair and Sen. Marion Gressette among them.
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