William J.B. Dorn, 89, a Democrat who served western South Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1947 to 1949 and from 1951 to 1974, died Aug. 13 at his home in Greenwood, S.C. No cause of death was reported.
Rep. Dorn was chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs and served on the House Public Works Committee. He was considered a defender of his district's agriculture-based economy.
He resigned from the House on Dec. 31, 1974, and ran unsuccessfully for his state's governorship.
Rep. Dorn was upset in the 1974 Democratic primary by Charles "Pug" Ravenel but received the nomination after the party removed Ravenel from the ticket because he did not meet residency requirements.
Ravenel refused to support Rep. Dorn in the general election, and Rep. Dorn lost narrowly to James Edwards, the state's first Republican governor since Reconstruction.
Rep. Dorn ran for governor again in 1978, but lost in the primary to eventual winner Dick Riley.
Rep. Dorn was chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party from 1980 to 1984.
William Jennings Bryan Dorn was born near Greenwood on April 14, 1916. He was named for William Jennings Bryan, the former Democratic presidential candidate who became the advocate of creationism during the Scopes Monkey Trial.
Rep. Dorn's political career began in 1938 when he was elected to the South Carolina House at 22. Two years later, Greenwood County sent him to the state Senate even though he was a year younger than the then-required 25. His fellow senators decided the people had spoken and waived the requirement, said his brother, Watson Dorn.
During World War II, Rep. Dorn spent nearly two years in Europe serving with the Army Air Forces. He would have an affinity for the military for the rest of his political career, and the veteran's hospital in Columbia is named for him.
His wife, Mildred Johnson Dorn, died in 1990.
Survivors include five children and seven grandchildren.