Duncan Clinch Heyward Belser was born on November 7, 1918, the descendant of several of South Carolina’s oldest and most distinguished families. In 1940 he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of South Carolina and entered the Army. He was discharged in 1945, a decorated pilot, and entered the Yale Law School where he graduated in 1948. He practiced briefly in New York City and Washington, D.C. where he developed a specialty in taxation and then returned to South Carolina to practice law with his father and brother in Columbia.
In 1958 he was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives from Richland County and served twelve years, culminating as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. As senior partner in the firm of Belser, Baker, Barwick, Ravenel, Toal & Bender, he led one of the leading litigation firms in the midlands. In 1985 he left private practice to become general counsel for Blue Cross/Blue Shield of South Carolina. He retired in 1990 but became associated with his son in the firm of Belser & Belser.
Throughout his life he continued the tradition of his forbearers as a leader renowned for his intellect and integrity. He died on March 4, 1994 at the age of 75.