20th Century Leaders

The Hon. Ferdinan B. Nancy Stevenson

Credit: Josephine Oakley and the family of the Hon. Ferdinan B. Nancy Stevenson

The former Lt. Gov. Ferdinan B. Nancy Stevenson (1928-2001) was born in New Rochelle, N.Y. and reared in Charleston, S.C. In 1978 when she was elected lieutenant governor of South Carolina Stevenson was the first and, to date, the only woman to serve in that position.

She received her B. A. degree from Smith College in 1949. Stevenson then traveled to Sweden and later that year began working for the New York Herald-Tribune as a reporter.

She began her political career as a representative from Charleston, serving from 1975 until 1978. A Democrat, she was lieutenant governor from 1979-1982.

During her tenure Stevenson created a hotline that allowed South Carolinians to find information about state governmental services. She established the Lieutenant Governor’s Writing Award Program, which continues today. Initially developed for fifth grade students to demonstrate their writing skills, it now includes public, private and home-school students in the fifth through eighth grades.