Born in Winnsboro, Heyward McDonald graduated from the Chester public schools. He attended Davidson College for one year, and then received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, from which he graduated in 1946. He attended the University of South Carolina School of Law, graduating Magna Cum Laude. While at USC he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and was a member of the National Moot court team.
In 1958 Heyward was admitted to the Bar and subsequently spent 42 years in the profession. He served as president of the Richland County Bar Association, as a member of the Board of Governors of the SC Bar, as chairman of the Supreme Court’s Committee on Character & Fitness and as a member of the State Board of Bar examiners. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment was his sponsorship of legislation to remove architectural barriers to the disabled in public buildings.
Heyward was given numerous professional awards. The SC Bar honored him with the Durant Outstanding Service Award, the Law School recognized him with the Compleat Lawyer Award and the Richland County Bar gave him the Tootie Williams Distinguished Service Award. In 1986 he received the Order of the Palmetto, the highest honor the state can bestow. He was also named legislator of the year by the major news media.
The list of Heyward’s accomplishments and awards does not, however, reflect his great sense of humor, his enjoyment of friends, or his enthusiastic optimism for his beloved Gamecocks. Heyward shared his remarkable life with his wife, Sylvia, his daughters Laurie, Linda, and Mary Heyward, and their families.