Born in Sumter, son of Rev. Dr. Daniel Melvin McLeod and Bertie Guyton McLeod; grew up throughout South Carolina.
Educated: Wofford College; Northwestern Univ.; Univ. of South Carolina, LL.B., 1948. Honorary LL.D., Wofford, 1983.
Admitted to Bar, 1948. Associate, Nelson, Mullins and Grier, Columbia, 1948–49. Staff Atty., 1949–50; Asst. Atty. Gen., 1950–59.
Elected Attorney General of South Carolina in 1958; re-elected five times and served for 24 years from 1959 until his retirement in 1983 as the senior Attorney General in the United States.
Notable achievements: his representation of South Carolina before the U.S. Supreme Court on several occasions; his involvement in initiating legislation and litigation to bring about a unified judicial system; assisting in implementation of Home Rule Act; recommending and drafting of Freedom of Information Act; and urging ratification of the proposed Equal Rights Amendment. He was an exemplary advocate of law and order. His service covered some of the most tumultuous times in the history in South Carolina.
Presented the Wyman Award in 1968 as the Nation’s most outstanding Attorney General by the National Assn. of Attorneys General.
U.S. Navy, 1940–45: Lieutenant, European Theatre. Merchant Marine, 1936. Civilian Conservation Corps, 1933-34.
His career manifested the highest caliber of public service. His greatest achievement was his steadfastness in difficult times.
Married 1st: Ellen D. LaBorde, 1941, who died in 1958; married 2nd: Virginia Barrett Hart, 1962. Four children: Daniel R. McLeod, Jr., Elizabeth McLeod Coble, John E. Hart, and Robert S. Hart.