"E" is for Edens, J. Drake, Jr. [1925-1982]
"E" is for Edens, J. Drake, Jr. [1925-1982]. Republican Party leader. Born in Columbia, Edens graduated from the University of South Carolina and for a number of years was an executive with his family's food store chain. He became involved with the Republican Party during the 1960 presidential campaign and by 1963 was state party chairman. He worked tirelessly to strengthen and expand the party and eventually established the foundation for the South Carolina Republican Party. In 1965 Edens became the state's Republican National Committeeman and one of its vice chairs: at the time he was the highest-placed southerner in the party. He remained active until the mid-1970s when he yielded leadership of the South Carolina Republican Party to relative newcomers. J. Drake Edens, Jr., was an active conservationist and chairman of the South Carolina Wildlife Commission.