"G" is for Gressette, Lawrence Marion (1902-1984)

May 24, 2018

Credit SC Public Radio

"G" is for Gressette, Lawrence Marion (1902-1984). Legislator. Gressette represented Calhoun County in the House of Representatives from 1925-1932. He served twenty-three terms in the Senate from 1937 to 1984—representing Calhoun County until 1966. Then, after reapportionment, Senate Districts Nineteen, Eleven and Thirteen. Gressette was a long-time member of a number of influential committees, including Judiciary (1937-1984; chairman, 1953-1984) and Education (1939-1984; chairmen 1951-1956). He served as president pro tempore of the Senate from 1972 to 1984. As chairman of the Judiciary Committee, he worked to preserve the status quo by rejecting new bills before they reached the Senate floor—leading some to refer to the committee as “Gressette’s Graveyard.” Following reapportionment, Lawrence Marion Gressette actively campaigned in his heavily black state Senate district and became a legislate patron of South Carolina State University.