William Jennings Bryan Dorn (April 14, 1916 – August 13, 2005) was a
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
politician A politician is a person active in party politics, or a person holding or seeking an elected office in government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case o ...
South Carolina )''Animis opibusque parati'' ( for, , Latin, Prepared in mind and resources, links=no) , anthem = "Carolina (state song), Carolina";"South Carolina On My Mind" , Former = Province of South Carolina , seat = Columbia, South Carolina, Columbia , ...
who represented the western part of the state in the
United States House of Representatives The United States House of Representatives, often referred to as the House of Representatives, the U.S. House, or simply the House, is the Lower house, lower chamber of the United States Congress, with the United States Senate, Senate being ...
from 1947 to 1949 and from 1951 to 1975 as a Democrat.

Early life

Dorn was born near
Greenwood, South Carolina Greenwood is a city in and the county seat of Greenwood County, South Carolina, Greenwood County, South Carolina, United States. The population in the 2020 United States Census was 22,545 down from 23,222 at the 2010 United States Census, 2010 cen ...
on April 14, 1916, the son of Thomas Elbert and Pearl Griffith Dorn. Thomas Dorn was a school teacher, principal, and superintendent who hoped his son would have a political career, so he named the boy after
William Jennings Bryan William Jennings Bryan (March 19, 1860 – July 26, 1925) was an American lawyer, orator and politician. Beginning in 1896, he emerged as a dominant force in the History of the Democratic Party (United States), Democratic Party, running ...
. Bryan Dorn attended the public schools of Greenwood and Greenwood High School, and became a farmer. He attended the University of South Carolina where he was a member of the Clariosophic Society. He was elected to the
South Carolina House of Representatives The South Carolina House of Representatives is the lower house of the South Carolina General Assembly. It consists of 124 representatives elected to two-year terms at the same time as U.S. congressional elections. Unlike many legislatures, seati ...
in 1938 and to the
South Carolina Senate The South Carolina Senate is the upper house of the South Carolina General Assembly, the lower house being the South Carolina House of Representatives. It consists of 46 senators elected from single member districts for four-year terms at the sam ...
in 1940. He served in the
United States Army Air Forces The United States Army Air Forces (USAAF or AAF) was the major land-based aerial warfare service component of the United States Army and ''de facto'' aerial warfare service branch of the United States during and immediately after World War II ...
in Europe during
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...

Congressional career

Dorn was first elected to Congress in the 1946 election. In the 1948 election, he unsuccessfully challenged incumbent U.S. Senator Burnet R. Maybank for the Democratic nomination. Maybank won the nomination, and was unopposed in the general election. Dorn returned to the House in the 1950 election, and became known for his work on issues related to the military and the expansion of
civil rights Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from infringement by governments, social organizations, and private individuals. They ensure one's entitlement to participate in the civil and political lif ...
. He was a signatory to the 1956
Southern Manifesto The Declaration of Constitutional Principles (known informally as the Southern Manifesto) was a document written in February and March 1956, during the 84th United States Congress, in opposition to racial integration of public places. The manife ...
that opposed the desegregation of public schools ordered by the Supreme Court in '' Brown v. Board of Education''. In 1966, journalist Drew Pearson reported that Dorn was one of a group of Congressman who had received the "Statesman of the Republic" award from Liberty Lobby for his "right-wing activities". In his final term he was chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee.

Candidacy for governor

He left Congress to run for
Governor of South Carolina The governor of South Carolina is the head of government of South Carolina. The governor is the ''Ex officio member, ex officio'' commander-in-chief of the South Carolina National Guard, National Guard when not called into Federal government o ...
in 1974. He lost the Democratic primary to Charles 'Pug' Ravenel, who the South Carolina Supreme Court later ruled ineligible on residency grounds required by the state constitution. A special state convention then chose Dorn as the Democratic candidate. He was defeated in the general election by Republican James B. Edwards, one of the few disappointments in what was generally a big year for Democrats. In 1978, Dorn again sought the Democratic nomination for governor but was eliminated in a three-way race won by
Richard Riley Richard Wilson Riley (born January 2, 1933) is an American politician, the United States Secretary of Education under President of the United States, President Bill Clinton and the List of governors of South Carolina, 111th governor of South Ca ...
. In 1980, he was elected chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, and he served until 1984.

After Congress

In 1978, President Jimmy Carter named the Columbia, South Carolina, Veteran's Affairs Hospital after Dorn as the " William Jennings Bryan Dorn Veterans' Hospital." Dorn died in Greenwood on August 13, 2005. He was buried at Bethel Methodist Church Cemetery in Callison, Greenwood County, South Carolina.


*Dorn, William Jennings Bryan, and Scott Derks. ''Dorn: Of the People, A Political Way of Life''. Columbia and Orangeburg, S.C.: Bruccoli Clark Layman/Sandlapper Publishing, 1988


External links

* *
William Jennings Bryan Dorn: In His Own Words
Audio clips from the Papers of William Jennings Bryan Dorn at South Carolina Political Collections
William Jennings Bryan Dorn Papers
at the University of South Carolina at South Carolina Political Collections , - {{DEFAULTSORT:Dorn, William 1916 births 2005 deaths People from Greenwood, South Carolina United States Army Air Forces personnel of World War II Democratic Party members of the United States House of Representatives from South Carolina 20th-century American politicians People from Greenwood County, South Carolina United States Army Air Forces non-commissioned officers Old Right (United States)