Judge Edward B. Cottingham was born in Bennettsville, South Carolina on June 27, 1928. His parents were Vance C. Cottingham, Sr. and Margaret Wogaman Cottingham.
Upon graduation from Bennettsville High School in 1946, he enlisted in the United States Navy where he served for a period of two years. During this period of service, he was aboard the Aircraft Carrier USS Leyte CV 32 and served in the European Middle Eastern Mediterranean Theater of Operations.
Upon his discharge from the United States Navy in April of 1948, he attended the University of Virginia and later transferred to the University of South Carolina. While attending the University of South Carolina, he joined the Air Force ROTC and received his commission as Second Lieutenant in 1951 in that branch of service. He graduated from the University of South Carolina Law School in 1953.
Upon graduation from Law School, he entered the law firm of Russell D. Miller. In 1954 he and W. C. Goldberg formed the law firm of Goldberg and Cottingham which later became Goldberg, Cottingham, Easterling & Napier. During his practice of law until 1984 he was actively engaged in numerous community affairs including the Chairman of the Great Town Committee, the Chairman of the Committee for the Restoration of the Opera House and served as Trustee of the Bennettsville School Board and was Chairman of the Marlboro County Development Board.
On a state level, he served as a member of the South Chamber of Commerce and was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1955 where he served until 1958. He was subsequently elected in 1966 and served there until 1972 when he was elected to the South Carolina Highway Commission. While serving there for a period of four years, he served as vice chairman and as chairman. He also served in 1960 as a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina.
He was elected to the position of Resident Judge for the Fourth Judicial Circuit in June of 1984 and served continuously in that position until his retirement on June 27th of 2000. Judge Cottingham still serves in the capacity of an Active Retired Circuit Judge. During his tenure on the circuit bench, he served as Vice President and President of the Circuit Judges Association and served upon the Circuit Judges' Advisory Committee and the Judicial Standards Committee. He is a graduate of the National Judicial College (1984) and served as Faculty Advisor in 1993.
Judge Cottingham is a member of the South Carolina Bar Association, the Marlboro County Bar Association and the American Bar Association. He has been admitted to practice in the United States District Court, as well as the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and is admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court.
He is a past member of the Rotary Club of Bennettsville, South Carolina, and of the Junior Chamber of Commerce. He is married to the former Iris Evans of Bennettsville, South Carolina. They are members of the First United Methodist Church of Bennettsville, and he and his wife have two children. Edward B. Cottingham, Jr. resides with his wife, Lisa, and four children, Evan, Caroline, Haley and Edward B., III, in Charleston, South Carolina. He practices law as a member of the law firm of Motley Rice. His daughter, Jeannie Cottingham Clifton, resides in Lexington, South Carolina, with her husband, Paul, and her two children, Stephen and Brett.