Judge Gene Morehead assumed his duties as a Family Court Judge for the Twelfth Judicial Circuit in June, 1985. He is a native South Carolinian who was born in Columbia to the late Nelle Lipscomb Morehead and the late A.E. "Buddy" Morehead, Jr. He grew up in Newberry, graduated from Newberry High School, and received his Bachelor's degree in Political Science from The Citadel in 1968. While a cadet at The Citadel, he was a class officer his junior and senior years, served on Battalion Staff and the Honor Committee. He graduated with academic honors and as a Distinguished Military Student while lettering in football and baseball. After two years of active duty as an officer in the United States Army, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1973. He again graduated with honors and was inducted into the Order of Wig and Robe.
Upon graduation from Law School, Judge Morehead entered private practice in Columbia with the law firm of Nelson, Mullins, Grier and Scarborough. He remained with that firm until 1976 when he moved to Florence to form the firm of Swearingen and Morehead with his brother-in-law, E.S. "Skip" Swearingen. He practiced in Florence until elected to the Family Court Bench. In January, 2000, he was appointed by the Chief Justice to the position of an Acting Judge on the South Carolina Court of Appeals. He served on the Court of Appeals until returning to the Family Court Bench in July, 2000. He also served another term on the Court of Appeals in 2003.
During his twelve years of private practice, he was admitted to practice in all South Carolina Courts, the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. He was active with the South Carolina Bar serving as the Sixth District Representative with the Young Lawyers' Division, the Lawyer Referral Committee, and the Practice and Procedures Committee. He taught Business Law at Francis Marion University for eight years. With the Judiciary, Judge Morehead has served as President of the Family Court Judges Association. He has also served on the Governor's Juvenile Justice Task Force and was Chairman of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit Youth Council. He was instrumental in organizing a Parent and Children in Transition program for divorcing parents with children. For eight years, he represented the Judiciary on the Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization and presently, by appointment of the Chief Justice, is serving as Chair of the Family Court Judges’ Advisory Committee. In 2008, he was honored by his fellow Family Court Judges as the first recipient of the “Buchan, Brown, Jacobs Award”.
Active around the state and local community, he has been involved with the American Legion Palmetto Boys State program since 1963 having served as Director for seventeen years. He has served on the Board of Directors of the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame and as President of the Florence Kiwanis Club being selected Kiwanian of the Year. He is active in community theatres in the area both on stage and behind the scenes.
As a member of St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church, he has previously been a Cantor, served on the Parish Council and as Chairman of the School Board. He has also served under two Bishops on the Diocesan Pastoral Council.
Judge Morehead is married to the former Elaine Dempsey of Orangeburg. They have two children: a son, Arthur who practices law in Charlotte; and a daughter, Anne Meree who runs the Commit Foundation and lives in Boseman, MT. They are blessed with five grandchildren; Ben, Laura, Max, Emi and Hunter.