The Honorable C. Bruce Littlejohn was born July 22, 1913, in Pacolet, South Carolina, to parents Lady Sarah Warmoth and Cameron Littlejohn. He graduated from Pacolet High School and attended Wofford College for three years, receiving his degree in 1933. He then attended the University of South Carolina School of Law where he was a member of the debate team and president of the senior class and received his law degree in 1936.
In 1936, shortly after opening his law practice in Spartanburg, Littlejohn was elected at age 23 to the S.C. House of Representatives where he served three terms from 1937 to 1943.
Justice Littlejohn resigned from the House of Representatives in 1943 and volunteered to serve in the U.S. Army. In 1946, he was discharged as First Lieutenant after foreign service, which included a tour of duty in the Philippines as a military prosecutor of Japanese war criminals. He was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives, serving from 1947 to 1949.
Shortly after his reelection as Speaker in 1949, he was elected by the General Assembly as circuit court judge of the Seventh Judicial Circuit, marking the beginning of a 39-year judicial career that would culminate in his election as Chief Justice of the S.C. Supreme Court. In 1967, he was elected Associate Justice to fill the unexpired term of Joseph R. Moss. During his service as Associate Justice, he advocated judicial reform and helped set stronger admissions standards for new attorneys to practice in South Carolina.
In 1984, he was elected Chief Justice to succeed Chief Justice J. Woodrow Lewis, retired. He was elected to a full term in 1984 and served until his mandatory retirement at age 72 in 1985. Following his retirement, he continued to remain active in the judicial arena, serving as an active judge for the S.C. Court of Appeals for more than 10 years and acting as private mediator and arbitrator in lawsuits.
Justice Littlejohn was the recipient of many honors, including the Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce Neville Holcombe Distinguished Public Service Award, South Carolina Bar Foundation DuRant Distinguished Public Service Award, Spartanburg Kiwanis Man of the Year Award and the Spartanburg Rotary Club Paul Harris Award. In 2004, he was presented the state’s highest civilian award, the Order of the Palmetto.
The Honorable C. Bruce Littlejohn died on April 21, 2007. Predeceased by his wife, Inell S. Littlejohn, he is survived by two children, Inell L. Allen and Cameron B. Littlejohn Jr.; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.