Born in Georgetown County’s Brookgreen Gardens and raised in Plantersville on a family farm that her great grandfather purchased in 1883, Dr. Gloria Bromell Tinubu, an economist educator, and public servant, is the seventh of eight children born to the late Beatrice and Charlie Bromell. Her father was a proud farmer and her mother worked hard as a maid on Myrtle Beach. Both had less than an elementary school education, but were determined to see that their children got the education and opportunities they never had.
Dr. Bromell Tinubu worked hard to make their dream come true, first by graduating second in her class from Choppee High School (now Carver’s Bay), earning an undergraduate degree from Howard University, a master’s degree in agricultural economics from Clemson University, and later becoming the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in applied economics from Clemson University.
Dr. Bromell Tinubu has never forgotten the lessons she learned from her parents about the value of hard work and the importance of family and community. As a young high school teacher, she played an active role in the lives of her students at Choppee High School. As a young wife, mother, and graduate student, she took in laundry to help make ends meet. Later, as a tenured professor and chair of the economics department at Spelman College, she worked in the local community as a member of the Atlanta City Council and the Georgia Board of Education, and later served in the General Assembly.
Dr. Bromell Tinubu moved back home to South Carolina in 2011 to restore her family home and farm, work towards improving her community, and teach in the College of Business Administration at Coastal Carolina University in Conway. She serves on the Board of Directors for both the Georgetown and Conway Innovation Centers, chairs the Boards of The Mitney Project and Palmetto Works CDC, and for several years owned a small business that specialized in community economic development consulting. Dr. Bromell Tinubu served on the Board of the Directors of the United Way of South Carolina and most recently worked as the Director of Economic Development for the City of Georgetown.
Dr. Bromell Tinubu became the first African American woman in South Carolina to win its party’s nomination for Congress, when in 2012, she won the Democratic nomination for South Carolina’s 7th congressional race with 73% of the votes. Dr. Bromell Tinubu has been the recipient of numerous awards including Spelman College’s Fannie Lou Hamer Community Service Award and the Winnie Mandela Humanitarian Award for Public Service. She was featured in Essence Magazine’s October 2005 edition on Women Who are Shaping the World.
Dr. Bromell Tinubu is a Fellow of Governor Riley’s Diversity Leadership Institute at Furman University and is an Associate of the Waccamaw Chapter of the American Leadership Forum. She is also a Woodland Community Advocate with the Center for Heirs Property. She and her husband, Soji, also a graduate of Clemson University with a master’s degree in civil engineering, have been married for nearly 42 years. They have four adult children and five grandchildren. Dr. Bromell Tinubu is a member of Bethel AME Church in the City of Georgetown and grew up in St. Paul AME Church in Plantersville, South Carolina.