Trey had the crowd in stitches from the beginning with jokes about Republican and Democratic colleagues, his wife and kids. Once the jokes and laughter were over and he began sharing his experiences as a prosecutor and 7-time death penalty litigator, the crowd was mesmerized. He expertly tied the sanctity of life into his speech as he compared a career being surrounded by death
Trey Gowdy was born in Greenville, South Carolina and grew up in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He is the son of Hal and Novalene Gowdy and has three sisters: Laura, Caroline, and Elizabeth.
He graduated Spartanburg High School in 1982, Baylor University in 1986, with a degree in history, and the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1989, where he was a member of the scholastic honor society “Order of the Wig and Robe.”
After law school he clerked for a judge on the South Carolina Court of Appeals and then for a United States District Court trial judge.
From 1994-2000, as a federal prosecutor, Trey prosecuted the full range of federal crimes including narcotics trafficking, bank robbery, car jacking, kidnapping, child pornography cases, and the murder of a federal witness. He was awarded the Postal Inspector’s Award for the successful prosecution of J. Mark Allen, one of “America’s Most Wanted” suspects. He also received the highest performance rating a federal prosecutor can receive – two years in a row.
In 2000, he left the U.S. Attorney's office to run for 7th Circuit Solicitor (District Attorney) in Spartanburg and Cherokee Counties. As 7th Circuit Solicitor, Trey led an office of 25 attorneys and 65 total employees. He started a Violence Against Women Task Force, a Worthless Check Program, enhanced and expanded Drug Court, and implemented a Drug Mother Protocol designed to assist expectant mothers break the cycle of addiction.
He has been recognized statewide for his commitment to victim’s rights and drunken driving enforcement and nationally for excellence in death penalty prosecutions.
In 2010, he ran for congress to represent the 4th Congressional District (Greenville and Spartanburg Counties). While in congress he served on the Judiciary Committee, Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Intelligence Committee, Education and the Workforce Committee and Ethics Committee. He was also chosen to chair a Select Committee on the events occurring in Libya on September 11-12, 2012.
While in congress he actively participated in numerous congressional investigations, sponsored bills signed into law, and had deep and meaningful relationships with scores of colleagues on both sides of the aisle.
After four terms in congress, he announced he would not seek re-election in 2018 and would leave public service for good; thus ending his career with a flawless record in the courtroom and undefeated in political races. In January of 2019, he returned to his beloved South Carolina to practice law, teach classes with his close friend Senator Tim Scott, and speak on legal issues he considers important to our country. Trey is an author, host of a television show and podcast.
Trey is married to Terri Dillard Gowdy, a first grade school teacher in Spartanburg, South Carolina. They have two children: Watson, who graduated Clemson University (2015) and Washington and Lee School of Law (2018) and Abigail, who graduated the University of South Carolina (2018) and graduated law school (2021).
Featured Keynote Programs
UNITY LEADS TO CHANGE
The Amazing Power of a Common Purpose
Rep Trey Gowdy's public service career exemplified the old adage, “We can go farther…together.” The unity created by a shared idea is a powerful tool to advance an organization, team or movement. Great causes unite individuals of differing backgrounds and views to achieve a goal beyond the grasp of one person.
In this keynote, Rep Gowdy aims to encourage attendees to pursue purpose - together. Fundraising galas, awareness events and benefits will be impacted by this personal challenge from Rep Gowdy.
The Primacy of Life
Rep. Trey Gowdy has a truly unique take on this issue. For nearly two decades he was a criminal prosecutor surrounded by the alternative to life. With a mixture of legal, literary, and real-life stories, Gowdy gives you a brand new perspective on an issue of significance and importance to all.
Our guest feedback was tremendous. People genuinely enjoyed Rep Gowdy's presentation. He was the perfect choice for this year's event. When we first considered him, there was genuine concern that he might be too partisan or divisive. But in the end, he was neither. He definitely knows how to bring people together around the basic core concepts of truth and unity. He was easy to work with and was very open with our guests
Trey Gowdy is one of the kindest, most humble speakers I have ever interacted with! He was so intentional about wanting to know what we needed and how he could best serve us. You have a winner in him! We are more than doubled our sponsorship of the evening allowing us to walk into the night in the black and I have no doubt part of that is because of the speaker!
Trey Gowdy is the most marvelous speaker we've ever had and our audience absolutely loved him - gave him a big standing ovation. I'll have more info for you next week, after we've crunched numbers and such, but I can already tell you it was our best event ever in terms of fundraising. Mr. Gowdy's speech as poignant and impactful. He is a gracious, charming, low-maintenance guest. We could not be happier with Mr. Gowdy or our event.
I'm happy to tell you that we met our fundraising goal with Mr. Gowdy as keynote speaker of our Champions for Life event. This year's event was our most profitable, the best attended (it was a sell out) and reaped the highest rewards in ways that count beyond monies raised. Mr. Gowdy was the most prepared, most passionate and truly the most eloquent speaker I've ever seen. He had our audience in the palm of his hand from the get-go and the atmosphere in the hall was electric.