Darla Moore was born and raised near Lake City, South Carolina, growing up on the family cotton, soybean and tobacco farm. After graduating from Lake City High School, she attended the University of South Carolina to study political science, later working for the Republican National Committee in Washington. In 1982, Moore gained her MBA from George Washington University and moved to New York City where she became become one of the most successful and highest paid women in the banking industry. She was the first woman featured on the cover of Fortune Magazine, and was listed as one of Fortune’s “50 Most Powerful Women In Business.”
In 1993, Moore began to invest back into her home state. Education became the focal point of her philanthropic efforts. In 1998, she announced a significant donation to the University of South Carolina’s Business School. The new Darla Moore School of Business became the first business school in the United States to be named after a woman.