Joseph Dawson Shine was born on December 15, 1949 in Charleston to Joseph N. Shine and Ida B. Shine. He graduated from Immaculate Conception High School in Charleston in 1967, and The Citadel in 1971. He received his Juris Doctor from Harvard University in 1974, and then spent two years of service on active military duty with the Office of the General Counsel of the Department of the Air Force. He received a Master of Business Administration from Southern Illinois University School of Business in 1985.
From 1976 to 1979, Mr. Shine served as Deputy Corporate Counsel for the City of Charleston, and in private law practice. In 1979, he became a prosecutor for the District of Columbia as Assistant Corporate Counsel. He served as Director of Ethics and Special Counsel to the Administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration in Washington, D.C. before being appointed Chief Deputy Attorney General for the State of South Carolina, where he served until 1993. In addition, he provided legal advice to state and local governmental officials in public interest areas such as education, social services, mental health, higher education and voting rights. Mr. Shine joined Westinghouse Savannah River Company as General Counsel in 2002.
He was involved in many civic activities including President of the Board of Directors of the South Carolina Bar Foundation, member of the South Carolina Cultural Visions Council, Chairman of the Government Law Section of the South Carolina Bar, former member of the House of Delegates of the South Carolina Bar, Permanent Member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the South Carolina Centers for Equal Justice and member of the Board of Directors of The Citadel Foundation.
Surviving are his wife The Honorable Margaret Seymour, and their son Eric Shine.