Irvine Belser was born in Summerton and followed a long family tradition by attending the University of South Carolina. While at USC, he was a top athlete, scholar and debator. He was President of the Euphradian Society Athletic Association, and of the student body. He was the first honor graduate in 1910, receiving an A.B. degree. Also, he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He graduated from Yale University in 1911, receiving the “high oration” rating, from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, receiving the “First Class” A.B. in the Honor School of Jurisprudence in 1913, a Bachelor of Civil Law in 1914 and an M.A. degree in 1919.
He was admitted to the Bar as a member of the Columbia firm of Melton and Belser and became an outstanding trial lawyer in both State and Federal Courts, including the United States Supreme Court. He served as the Chief Counsel for the South Carolina Public Service Commission for 30 years. He also served in the United States Army in World War I and World War II, retiring as a colonel.
He married May Heyward in 1914 and they had eight children; two of his sons became lawyers. In 1947, he married Caroline Dick McKissick. He was an avid hunter and loved horses and dogs. He was a member of the Trinity Episcopal Church, the Kosmos Club, the Forum Club, and many professional organizations.
Love of learning, high scholastic attainment, and pride in heritage marked the man. Integrity and devotion marked the lawyer.