People of Lake City, SC

Lake City takes pride in the progressive-minded pioneers who have hailed from our small Southern town.

The people of our past and future

The people who founded Lake City wanted a better life — and worked hard to chart a future from the nutrient-rich soils that eastern South Carolina offered. Generations later, Lake City is still marked by hard-working, energetic, progressive-minded people who are dedicated to a positive future for our city.

Celebrating our local heroes

Our small Southern town has produced truly exceptional Americans — we are the birthplace of professional athletes and pioneers in science and business. We are particularly proud of the pioneers and notable people who have called Lake City home.



On January 28, 1986, NASA Challenger mission STS-51-L ended in tragedy when the shuttle exploded 73 seconds after takeoff.  On board was physicist Ronald E. McNair, who was the second African American to enter space. But first, he was a kid with big dreams in Lake City, South Carolina.


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Ronald E. McNair, Ph.D.

A pioneering physicist and astronaut, Dr. McNair was born and raised in Lake City, where as an adolescent he was fascinated with science and math. McNair went on to earn a Ph.D. in physics from MIT and was recognized for his groundbreaking work with lasers, as well as his personal talents as a saxophonist and black belt in karate. He became a NASA astronaut in 1978 and was one of seven crew members killed when the Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated after takeoff in 1986. The U.S. Department of Education named an achievement program encouraging graduate and doctorate education for low-income, first-generation college students in his honor.

Darla Moore

Darla Moore is partner in the private investment firm Rainwater Inc. and recognized as a pioneering woman in business and finance. Moore was the first woman profiled on the cover of Fortune magazine and was named to the list of “Top 50 Most Powerful Women in American Business.” She was also one of the first two women to become a member at the Augusta National Golf Club (along with former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice).

Born and raised in Lake City, Moore works tirelessly on behalf of the state of South Carolina; she is the founder and chair of the Palmetto Institute, a nonprofit think tank focused on bolstering per capita income in the state, and the University of South Carolina’s business school is named in her honor. She has served on the boards of the University of South Carolina, New York University Medical School and Hospital, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, The South Financial Group, MPS Group, and the National Advisory Board of JP Morgan. She continues to make her home in Lake City and is instrumental in the city’s revitalization, with her integral roles in the Lake City Community Foundation, Community Museum Society, and Lake City Partnership Council. She is also heavily involved in the Charleston Parks Conservancy.