Justice Costa M. Pleicones was born in Greenville, South Carolina, in 1944. He is the son of Lecha and Mike Pleicones, both deceased.
Justice Pleicones grew up in Columbia, South Carolina, attending its city schools through graduation from Columbia High School in 1961. He then attended Wofford College from which he graduated in 1965 with a degree in English. Following graduation from Wofford, Justice Pleicones attended the University of South Carolina School of Law, from which he received a Juris Doctor degree in 1968.
After law school, Justice Pleicones entered the United States Army, serving both as an enlisted member and as an officer in the Judge Advocate's General Corps, until his release from active duty on March 1, 1973. Justice Pleicones continued his membership in the military until retirement from the United States Army Reserve in March 1999 after more than thirty years of active and reserve service.
Upon leaving active military service, Justice Pleicones entered practice as a public defender for Richland County, South Carolina. Later, while in private practice with Lewis, Babcock, Pleicones and Hawkins, he also served as a part-time municipal judge for the City of Columbia, and as County Attorney for Richland County. In 1991 he was elected Resident Circuit Court Judge for the 5th Judicial Circuit. He served as a circuit judge from July l, 1991, until March 23, 2000, when he was elected as an associate justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court on February 9, 2000. On May 27, 2015, Justice Pleicones was elected as Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court.
Justice Pleicones is admitted to practice before all South Carolina Courts, the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Services, and the United States Supreme Court. He is frequently called upon as a lecturer in CLE programs conducted by the South Carolina Bar and other professional organizations.
Justice Pleicones married the former Donna Singletary of Lake City, South Carolina in 1965 and they have two daughters and one grandchild. Justice Pleicones is Greek Orthodox.