South Carolina Supreme Court Justices

Archie Lee Chandler
Date Born: December 16, 1922

[No known picture]

 Date Died: July 18, 2012

Place Born: Orangeburg, SC

Place Buried: Grove Hill Cemetery in Darlington, SC


Chief Justice 1994
Associate Justice 1984 - 1994

Archie Lee Chandler was born on December 16, 1922 in Orangeburg, SC, the son of William Eugene Chandler and Ella Rowe (Dukes) Chandler. He was a graduate of Greenville High School in 1939. He attended The Citadel from September of 1939 to January of 1940, when he was forced to leave due to financial difficulties. He then attended the George Washington University from January of 1940 to June of 1940. He returned to The Citadel from September of 1940 to May of 1943. His entire class was required to enlist due to the war.

During World War II, he joined the U.S. Army on May 31, 1943 as a Private. On August 7, 1944, he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant and assigned to Company D of the 271st Infantry in the 69th Division, stationed at Hattiesburg, MS. He was later wounded in action in Germany and he received the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.

On December 30, 1945, Archie Lee Chandler married Martha Nell Wilkins, daughter of Bert and Augusta Wilkins of Hattiesburg, MS; they had one daughter.

Archie Lee Chandler returned to his education and attended the University of South Carolina Law School from September of 1946 to November of 1947. He went to George Washington University again from January to August of 1950, and graduated with an A.B. in Political Science.

Archie Lee Chandler was admitted to the SC bar in November of 1947, and he practiced law in Greenville, SC for five years. He moved his family to Darlington, SC where he again opened his own law practice.

In 1963, Archie Lee Chandler was appointed as the Darlington County Attorney, and he served from January 1, 1963 to February 15, 1973. He was the first Chairman of the Darlington County Development Board, Chairman of the Florence-Darlington Technical College Board, and a charter member of the State ETV Commission.

In 1971, Archie Lee Chandler was elected as one of three men to represent Darlington County in the SC House of Representatives of the:
- 100th General Assembly that met from 1972 to 1974

With the House of Representatives completely re-apportioned in 1973, in 1974, Archie Lee Chandler was elected to represent the 58th House District (part of Darlington County) in the SC House of Representives of the:
- 101st General Assembly that met from 1975 to 1976

In September of 1976, Archie Lee Chandler was elected as a Resident Circuit Court Judge for the 4th Judicial District. He was re-elected in 1982.

On May 9, 1984, Archie Lee Chandler was elected as an Associate Justice of the SC Supreme Court, replacing Associate Justice Cameron Bruce Littlejohn, who had just been elected Chief Justice. He was re-elected in 1992.

On February 10, 1994, Archie Lee Chandler was elected Chief Justice of the SC Supreme Court, replacing Chief Justice David Walker Harwell, who had retired. He served as Chief Justice for less than a year, then retired due to reaching the mandatory retirement age.

Also in 1994, Archie Lee Chandler was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from The Citadel.

Following his retirement from the SC Supreme Court, Archie Lee Chandler graduated from the Vocation Diaconate School of the Diocese of SC, and was ordained a Deacon for the Servanthood Ministry on September 2, 1999. He served as Deacon at St. Matthews of Darlington SC and St. Andrews of Mt. Pleasant, SC.

On July 18, 2012, Archie Lee Chandler died in Mt. Pleasant, SC, and he was buried in the Grove Hill Cemetery in Darlington, SC.

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