Edward Waddell Laney Ⅲ was born on August 12, 1930, in Society Hill, South Carolina, to Elizabeth Chapman and Edward W. Laney, Jr. He graduated from Cheraw High School and The Citadel and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law. He began his law career as an associate with Turner, Padget & Graham, which later became Turner, Padget, Graham & Laney.
Laney was a member of the South Carolina Bar, the Richland County Bar Association, and the South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys’ Association. He served as a member and board chairman of Richland County Memorial Hospital, coach for Palmetto Little League Baseball, chair of the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, board chairman for the Rehabilitation Facility of South Carolina, and board chairman of Camden Military Academy. He attended Trenholm Road United Methodist Church and the Friendship Sunday school class.
His protégées found him highly principled, very smart, and superbly able to sort out issues. He was extremely effective as an advocate and was respected by judges and opposing counsel. He was quietly self–confident; he knew he was good, but he did not brag, and he did not beg for attention. He possessed a sense of duty and a strong moral compass.
Laney is survived by his wife, Georgia Free Laney; sons, Edward Waddell Laney, IV and Leroy Free Laney; and daughters, Mary Laney Tatum, Elizabeth Laney Peeples, and Georgia Laney Thomas.