Born in Lafayette Springs, Mississippi, Donald S. Russell moved to South Carolina at an early age. His long life was marked by distinguished service to South Carolina and the nation. An unusually talented man, he received his undergraduate as well as his law degree from the University of South Carolina. A member of the prestigious Spartanburg law firm of Nichols, Wyche, and Byrnes, he became the protégé of James F. Byrnes and followed him to Washington, DC, where he served in a number of important positions during World War II and later as Assistant Secretary of State for Administration. In 1952 he became President of the University of South Carolina and was elected Governor of South Carolina in 1962. He served in the United States Senate from 1965-1966, and in 1967, he was appointed a United States District Court Judge, serving in that position until 1971 when he was appointed United States Circuit Judge.