A former Florence County farmer and legislator who served for a single term in Congress has died at age 96.
Former U.S. Rep. Ed Young passed away at home while surrounded by family Tuesday, according to an obituary. No cause of death was given.
In his private life, Young operated a dairy farm which also grew cotton, soybeans and tobacco. He briefly served in the state House of Representatives as a Democrat from 1957 to 1960. He then switched parties and ran for Congress in 1972, becoming the first Republican to ever win South Carolina’s Sixth District. Young benefitted when longtime incumbent John McMillan was upset in the Democratic primary that year.
However, he fell victim to a national backlash against the Watergate scandal two years later and lost to Democratic opponent John Jenrette. Four years later, Young won the Republican nomination for governor but lost to then-State Sen. Richard “Dick” Riley in the 1978 general election.
Young was also well-known in the Pee Dee region for hosting the “Southeast Almanac” television show in the 1960s and the live Sunday morning radio program “Radio Sunday School” he helped launch in 1957.
He was also a World War II veteran, flying P-38 planes in the Army Air Corps. Young served in the South Pacific and advanced to the rank of major. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with nine Oak Leaf Clusters.
Young was a graduate of Florence High School and Clemson University.