CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — James B. Edwards, South Carolina's first Republican governor since Reconstruction and later energy secretary in the Reagan administration, has died. He was 87.
His son-in-law Ken Wingate confirmed that Edwards died Friday.
The oral surgeon served in the state Senate and helped build the modern Republican Party in South Carolina before becoming governor in 1974.
Edwards was limited to one term under state law at the time. After leaving the governor's mansion, he headed to Washington as President Ronald Reagan's energy secretary.
Edwards returned to his home state to become president of the Medical University of South Carolina. He held that position for 17 years before retiring. During his tenure, more than 10,000 health professionals graduated from the university.
Funeral arrangements are not complete.