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Our History: Featured Alumni/ae: Benet, W. Christie, Jr., 1902

Over the decades our graduates have developed distinguished careers as justices, members of Congress, ambassadors, educators, business people, and community leaders in many fields. This site features some of those late graduates.

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William Christie Benet, Jr.

U.S. Senator from South Carolina

Christie Benet was born in Abbeville, South Carolina in 1879. He attended the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina. He then studied law at the University of Virginia, where he graduated in 1902. Benet was admitted to the bar and began his law practice in Columbia, South Carolina, in 1903. He became solicitor of the Fifth Judicial Circuit in 1908 and attorney for the city of Columbia from 1910 to 1912. Benet was elected three times as the secretary of the Democratic State Committee for South Carolina. On July 6, 1918, he was appointed to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Benjamin R. Tillman. Benet served from July 6 to November 5, 1918, when a successor was elected.  During his tenure he was chairman of the Committee on National Banks. After serving in the Senate, Benet returned to practicing law in South Carolina and became a member, and later chairman, of the Board of Regents of the South Carolina State Hospital from 1915 to 1946. During World War II, he served as chairman of the War Finance Committee for South Carolina and later was chairman of the Alien Enemy Hearing Board for the Eastern District of South Carolina. Benet died in Columbia, South Carolina, in 1951 and was buried in Elmwood Cemetery.