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 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 will be attending law school. The Gowdy family also includes three dogs: Jury, Bailiff and Dallas.