A statesman, jurist and diplomat, the Charleston native was admitted to the bar in 1903. After serving as Solicitor of the Second Judicial District, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1910, serving until 1925. In 1936 he was elected to the United States Senate, serving until 1941 when he was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed him to head the Office of Economic Stabilization and then as the director of the Office of War Mobilization during World War II. Byrnes was frequently called the "assistant president." He served as Secretary of State under President Harry Truman from 1945 to 1947. In 1950 he was elected governor, serving until 1955.