CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Lowcountry lost one of its most prominent natives on Monday, Arthur Ravenel, Jr.
Folks say losing Ravenel is a tremendous loss for the Lowcountry. They say people knew him as “Cousin Arthur” because he was just that friendly, and everyone liked him.
“He was a charming man with a wonderful accent, and he was a quintessential Lowcountry man,” Bill Sharpe, Lowcountry native and longtime former anchor for Live 5 News, said.
Arthur Ravenel, Jr. was born in Charleston in 1927 and graduated from the College of Charleston in 1950. He served in the South Carolina House from 1953-1958. Later, Ravenel served in the Senate from 1981 to 1986 and again from 1997 to 2003. He was also a member of the U.S. Congress from 1987 to 1995, before eventually being a member of the Charleston County School Board.
“There have only been three natural politicians,” Sharpe said. “Arthur Ravenel was one of them.”
Sharpe says Ravenel played a major role in funding a Lowcountry landmark -- the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge.
“Very bright man,” Sharpe said. “He got a lot done for the Lowcountry. Brought the Republican party here, got established, and his crowning achievement was he got the Arthur Ravenel Bridge built here.”
Ravenel touched the lives of many in the political world, including Maurice Washington, chairman for Charleston County Republican Party.
“Never saw left or right,” Washington said. “Democrat or Republican. He always looked towards the future. Wanted to do what’s best for people.”
Congresswoman Nancy Mace tweeted, “Today we lost a great friend of the Lowcountry and former Representative of South Carolina’s first congressional district - Arthur Ravenel Jr. Our prayers are with the Ravenel family this evening.”
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg released a statement upon hearing of the passing of the former congressman and state senator:
Cousin Arthur loved Charleston in his bones, and Charleston loved him back. Over the course of 95 remarkable years, he was a Marine, a business leader, a family man, and a distinguished public servant at every level of government. Put simply, his was a life in full -- a life of joy and meaning and consequence -- and he will be much missed.
“When you can go through this life at 90 plus years and never hear someone speak bad of an individual, that tells you something,” Washington said. “That this person was genuinely loved by all and lived a full life. A true life.”
On behalf of Live 5 News and 94.3 WSC, our thoughts and prayers go out to the Ravenel family at this time.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.