Emily Clyburn, wife of SC congressman Jim Clyburn, dies at 80

Local News

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – Congressman James Clyburn is mourning the loss of his wife, Dr. Emily England Clyburn, who passed away Thursday morning at 80-years-old.

Dr. Clyburn, known affectionately as Ms. Emily by many, was born in the Whitesville area of Berkeley County.

She graduated from Berkeley Training High School in Moncks Corner and earned a bachelor’s degree in Library Science from South Carolina State College (SCSU) in 1961.

A new release on her death Thursday noted Dr. Clyburn furthered her studies at Atlanta University and the University of South Carolina and received a Master in Librarianship in 1977. 

She was a public school librarian in both Columbia and Charleston before spending 29 years as a medical librarian at the Charleston Naval Base and Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia. 

Emily Clyburn listens to her husband, U.S. Rep. James Clyburn speak at the University of South Carolina, Monday, Nov. 23, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

The release stated she and her husband, Jim, were married for 58 years after meeting in jail during one of his incarcerations for campus activism.

Clyburn was a member of Morris Brown AME Church in Charleston, a life member of the NAACP, a life member of the SCSU National Alumni Association and an active, highly-regarded member of the Congressional Black Caucus Spouses Association.

She is survived by her husband, Jim; three daughters: Former FCC Commissioner Mignon L. Clyburn, Jennifer Clyburn Reed (Walter) and Angela Clyburn Hannibal; four grandchildren: Walter A Clyburn Reed, Sydney Alexis Reed, Layla Joann Clyburn Hannibal, and Carter James Clyburn Hannibal. 

A celebration of her life and legacy will be held at Brookland Baptist Church in West Columbia at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 22.

Her Homegoing Services will be at Morris Brown AMEC in Charleston, SC at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, September 23. 

Her internment at Crescent Hill Memorial will be followed by a repast at Trinity Baptist Church in Columbia.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the Emily England Clyburn Honors College Endowment at South Carolina State University and the Emily E. Clyburn Huddle Room at the Cathy Novinger Girl Scout Leadership Center in Columbia, SC.

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