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Charles "Pug" Dufort Ravenel

Charles "Pug" Dufort Ravenel
  • February 14, 1938 - March 25, 2017
  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Memorials in Pug's name may be given to:
  • MUSC Neuroscience Institute
    MUSC Foundation Fund #8927
    18 Bee Street
    Charleston, SC 29425
  • Memorials in Pug's name may be given to:
  • Pat Conroy Literary Center
    308 Charles Street
    Beaufort, SC 29902

Pause Best of Times by Bruce H. Zimmerman (ASCAP)
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“Pug was one of the finest people I have ever met. I was so sorry to learn of his death.Joseph L. Gorman, Sr., Bishop England, 1957. ”
1 of 18 | Posted by: Joseph Gorman, Sr. - Charleston, SC

“Dear Ravenel Family,As the son of another member of Harvard's Varsity Club Athletic Hall of Fame, my father and I thrilled to Charlie's exploits...Read More »
2 of 18 | Posted by: Francis "Flip" Powers, Jr. - NY

“Gifted athlete, leader,spark plug, river boat gambler,--then,as now--Charlie made us proud to be his teammates. His toughness and desire on the...Read More »
3 of 18 | Posted by: Paul Kirk - Marstons Mills, MA

“Susu,So sorry to learn of Pug's passing. My deepest symapthy to you and all of the family.Arthur ”
4 of 18 | Posted by: Arthur Monroe - New York, NY

“My thoughts are with Pug's family and friends. He was one of the nicest people I have known. I ran his Aiken office for Governor through the...Read More »
5 of 18 | Posted by: Sharon Ellington - Friend

“I was not able to come to Church to dayBut I just want to tell you how sorry i have been learning Pug's deathHe was a great man and was so nice to...Read More »
6 of 18 | Posted by: Marie -Laure Arnaud - Mt Pleasant, SC

“Pug and I were friends, classmates and teammates at Bishop England High School..The last time I saw him we had a nice visit and talked about the...Read More »
7 of 18 | Posted by: Walter LaTorre - Charleston, SC

“Sorry for your family's loss. Pug stayed with my family overnight at EHS in Virginia in the late 50's on his way to university. I rode the train with...Read More »
8 of 18 | Posted by: Alicia Bee Ravenel 1 - SC

“The Rev. David Williams and Linda Williams send their love and condolences and will miss our dear friend and parishioner. Our sincere sympathy to...Read More »
9 of 18 | Posted by: A friend

“My thoughts & prayers are with your family.I have many wonderful memories of Pug.When courting my sister(Eleanor Hope Moore) he was the perfect...Read More »
10 of 18 | Posted by: john hope - wad isl, SC - Friend

“I had the great pleasure of playing football with Charlie at Harvard and have very fond memories of those days. My deepest sympathies to his family...Read More »
11 of 18 | Posted by: Warren Huff - Cincinnati, OH

“Pug made a difference and we salute his many achievement. Warm condolences to his loving family, Charleston will not be the same without this...Read More »
12 of 18 | Posted by: lou Hammond - Charleston - friend

“At dheis De go raibh a anam dilis. (may his sweet soul be at God's right hand) ”
13 of 18 | Posted by: Joseph P Duane BEHS 1955 - Tampa, FL

“There was no one quite like Pug. The moment you met him, he became a trusted friend. His warmth of personality, indomitable character, and wealth...Read More »
14 of 18 | Posted by: Tommy McQueeney - SC - Friend


15 of 18 | Posted by: Eddie Weekley - SC

“Dear Ravenel family,Please accept my deepest sympathy in the passing of "Pug." While you may not know me personally, I knew Charles "Pug" Ravenel in...Read More »
16 of 18 | Posted by: Risher Fairey - Columbia, SC

“In 1980, true to form Pug introduced this New Englander to Charleston by offering me an office for my fledgling private investment bank within...Read More »
17 of 18 | Posted by: Lee Vancini - Seabrook Island, SC

“My deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Ravenel. May the God of all comfort give you comfort during this difficult time. ”
18 of 18 | Posted by: Theola Gray


Charles Dufort Ravenel died peacefully at home on March 25, 2017 after a gradual decline due to cancer. He was 79 years old.

Born on February 14, 1938 in Charleston to Charles Francis Ravenel and Yvonne Michel Ravenel, he spent much of his early years on Moultrie Playground, where he earned the lifelong nickname "Pug" after injuring his nose on the second base telephone pole. Athletics played a huge role in his life: he was a star quarterback for Bishop England High School, class of 1955, and was named to the All State team that year. At the age of twelve he took a job as a newspaper boy for the Post and Courier, where he worked until he was awarded a newsboy scholarship for a post-graduate year at Phillip's Exeter Academy in 1955-56. He then earned a scholarship to Harvard, where his dramatic quarterbacking style was noted in a Sports Illustrated profile http://www.si.com/vault/1958/11/10/560340/the-square-is-alive-again in his sophomore season of 1958. He was elected First Marshall (President) of his senior class in 1961and won the esteemed Bingham Award that year for "courage, leadership and integrity" on the athletic field. He was admitted to the Harvard Varsity Club's Football Hall of Fame in 1991.

Upon graduation he was awarded a Corning Glassworks Fellowship for a year of travel and study abroad. In 1964 he earned an MBA from Harvard Business School, after which he worked for the Wall Street firm Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. He was proud to have introduced Dick Jenrette to Charleston, joining him and Charlie Duell to rebuild the Mills House. In 1966 he served as a White House Fellow under President Lyndon B. Johnson and the Secretary of the Treasury. In 1967 he co-founded with his friend Michael Bloomberg the New York Academy for Black and Latin Education (ABLE). In 1972 he fulfilled his constant dream of returning home to work, raise his family and contribute to the civic life of his native city and state.

Pug will be especially remembered for his dramatic run for Governor in 1974. In the middle of the Watergate hearings he ran as a charismatic fresh new face and won the democratic primary against six rivals. His was the first campaign in the state to employ a sophisticated media strategy, notably television spots. Six weeks before the general election he was disqualified by the State Supreme Court on the basis of a five-year continuous residency requirement. He later ran unsuccessfully as the Democratic nominee for the US Senate (1978) and the US House of Representatives (1980). Concurrently he founded a merchant banking company, Ravenel, Dawson and Hastie; served as a founding board member of Spoleto Festival USA; worked for MUSC as executive director of the Drug Sciences Foundation; and restored and was a founder of the Long Room Club, Charleston's first private club to accept members of the community from any race, gender or creed.

Leaving active politics he then founded another financial company, Capital South, pursued several real estate ventures, and established Charleston Hardwood Trees, LLC. He was a trustee of Phillips Exeter Academy, Historic Charleston Foundation and NC Outward Bound and was instrumental in the planting of an avenue of live oaks on upper East Bay Street.

In 1963 Pug married Mary "Mollie" Talbot Curtis with whom he raised three children. In 1991 he married Susan "Susu" Heyward Gibbes Woodward to whom he was happily married for the rest of his life. Pug had an inquisitive mind and a genuine interest in other people and cultures. Together, he and Susu traveled extensively and were an integral part of the city's arts and culture community, regularly opening their home in support of the arts and introducing newcomers to friends in Charleston.

Pug was an exceptional man. Those who knew him well, who had the great pleasure of calling him a friend, bore witness to a loving heart, a brave wisdom and a drive fueled by a wide sense of compassion, wonder and possibility.

Pug is survived by his loving and devoted family: his wife Susu, his three children Curtis de St. Julien Ravenel (Mallory), Tiphaine Ravenel Bonetti (Paolo), and Ramsay Michel Ravenel (Rebecca); his two stepchildren, Thomas Bright Williamson (Allison) and Susan Williamson Mills (Douglas); and nine grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother Henry Laurence Bee Ravenel (Shannon), his sister Lynne Yvonne Ravenel and six nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at Grace Church Cathedral, 98 Wentworth St. at 2pm on Sunday April 2, 2017. Memorials in Pug's name may be given to: Spoleto Festival USA, 14 George St, Charleston, SC 29401; MUSC Neuroscience Institute, c/o MUSC Foundation Fund #8927, 18 Bee St, Charleston, SC 29425; the Pat Conroy Literary Center, 308 Charles St, Beaufort, SC 29902.