She is a pioneering woman in the banking industry and a benefactor to many institutions in her home state of South Carolina.
Moore was born to Eugene and Loraine Moore in Lake City, South Carolina. She graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. After school, she worked for the Republican National Committee in Washington, DC.
In 1981, Moore received an MBA from George Washington University and joined other MBAs at the Chemical Bank’s training program. During the 1980s, Moore made a name for herself by taking over companies in bankruptcy and making them profitable. By the early 1990s, she was the highest-paid woman in banking.
In 1991, Moore married Richard Rainwater. She was named president of Rainwater, Inc, in 1993. Fortune Magazine named Moore one of the 50 Most Powerful Women In Business in 1998<ref>Ranking The 50 Most Powerful Women FORTUNE'S FIRST ANNUAL LOOK AT THE WOMEN WHO MOST INFLUENCE CORPORATE AMERICA</ref> and 1999. Moore is credited with increasing the Rainwater family fortune and also dismissing future Florida Governor Rick Scott from Columbia/HCA when a medicare related scandal broke. Scott and Mr. Rainwater were partners in the Texas Rangers baseball team with Texas Governor George W. Bush. Another top executive with Columbia/HCA was the brother of Tennessee Senator Frist. See the September 8, 1997 issue of Fortune magazine.<ref>Don't Mess With Darla...</ref>
Moore and her husband spend most of their time in Lake City in a house built on a plantation that has been in the Moore family for six generations. The couple also owns homes in New York City, Folsom, California and Charleston, South Carolina.
In 2011, Gov. Nikki Haley removed Darla Moore from the University of South Carolina board. Moore was replaced with Tommy Cofield.<ref>Logan Smith, Haley donor replaces Darla Moore on USC Board of Trustees, WISTV</ref> Here is a link to an addtional article on timeline of the decision to replace Moore with a survey of opinion about the matter.<ref> http://www.thestate.com/2011/04/21/1786866/moore-firestorm-blindsided-haley.html </ref>
Moore has given many gifts to institutions that benefit the public. Some of her gifts include:
- 1998 — $25 million to the business school at the University of South Carolina, which renamed it the Moore School of Business;<ref>Be It Wharton or Darla Moore, Not for Nothing Is a B-School So Named</ref>
- 2002 — Founded the Palmetto Institute, an independent non-profit organization focused on increasing the wealth of every person in South Carolina;
- 2003 — $10 million to the School of Education at Clemson University; the university has renamed the school the Eugene T. Moore School of Education in honor of her father, a Clemson alumnus and former teacher, coach, and principal in Lake City;<ref>Welcome from Darla Moore and Richard Rainwater, clemson.edu</ref>
- 2005 — an additional $45 million to the Moore School of Business;<ref>Darla Moore donates record $45 million to School of Business</ref>
- 2011 — $5 million to the Aerospace Research Center at the University of South Carolina;<ref>Moore pledges another $5 million to USC</ref>
- Inc magazine profile
- Portrait of Moore from a presentation at a Wharton School executive series presentation. Includes further references.
- Biographical sketch from Clemson University's Eugene T. Moore School of Education.
- Darla Moore | The Moore School of Business | University of South Carolina
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