Isadore Edward Lourie was born on August 4, 1932 in St. George to Louis Lourie and Ann Friedman Lourie. He graduated from St. George High School and moved to Columbia to attend the University of South Carolina where he earned a B.S. in 1953 and an LL.B. in 1956.
Senator Lourie was admitted to the Bar in December 1955 and for more than forty–seven years practiced law in Columbia. At the time of his death, he was in practice with his son, Neal M. Lourie.
He served as president of the Columbia Jaycees from 1958 to 1959, and as state president of the South Carolina Jaycees from 1959 to 1960. For the year 1959–1960 he was named Columbia’s Outstanding Young Man of the Year. In 1960 he served as state president of the South Carolina Young Democrats and in 1964 was elected to the House of Representatives. Having co–sponsored the legislation creating the South Carolina Council on Aging, he served as a member of the Council, later known as the Commission on Aging, from 1967 to 1985.
In 1972 Senator Lourie was elected to the State Senate where he served for twenty years, concurrently serving his community as a board member of the Capital Senior Center, the United Way, the Richland Memorial Foundation, and others. He was also an active member of Beth Shalom Synagogue.
He served as a member and became chairman of the Workers’ Compensation Committee from 1980 to 1987. In 1984, he became Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee and a member of the State Highways and Public Transportation Commission, but relinquished the latter position in 1989 when he was elected Senate Majority Leader. He was named Legislator of the Year by the South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association in 1981 and 1984 and by the American Civil Liberties Union in 1984. He was tapped for the U.S. Jaycees Hall of Leadership in 1989. He served as Board Chair of the S.C. State Museum from 1999 to 2001. Senator Lourie retired from the Senate in 1992.
Surviving are his wife of forty–four years, Susan Reiner Lourie, and three sons: Lance D. Lourie, Esquire; Representative Joel B. Lourie; and Neal M. Lourie, Esquire.