Cover photo for Michael L. Laughlin's Obituary
Michael L. Laughlin Profile Photo

Michael L. Laughlin

March 20, 1944 — May 26, 2022

Michael L. Laughlin passed away on May 26, 2022. Born in 1944 to Thomas and Louise Laughlin, Michael graduated from the former Aiken Preparatory School, the Brooks School in North Andover, MA, and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. He attended the University of South Carolina School of Law in Columbia, SC, but withdrew to enter politics and, in 1968, was elected the youngest State Senator in South Carolina's history. Michael was an astute businessman and over the years was engaged in the aviation, radio broadcasting, real estate development, automobile, utility, maritime, banking, and media production industries. He was Chairman of Eagle Aviation, which he founded in 1967, and operated timber and equine activities at Mill Race Farm all his life. His advice and support in business and political endeavors was sought by friends, associates, and acquaintances. A lifelong resident of Aiken, SC, Michael gave generously of his time in leadership roles at the Green Boundary Club, the former Aiken Preparatory School, and Hitchcock Woods Foundation. Michael was a horseman and aviator, flying both fixed wing aircraft and helicopters, and enjoyed boating and spending time during the summer with his family and many close friends at Fishers Island, NY. Michael was also a very active leader in the Fishers Island community and served as President of the Utility Company for many years. Michael was predeceased by his parents, his brothers, Timothy and James, and his beloved partner William E. Howard, III, and is survived by a niece, nephews and great nieces and nephews. A Celebration of Michael will be held at 3:00 PM, Saturday, October 22, 2022, in the Aiken Prep Campus Gymnasium, 619 Barnwell Ave. NW, Aiken. Memorials may be directed to Brooks School in North Andover, MA. Shellhouse Funeral Home, Inc., 924 Hayne Ave., Aiken, SC. Michael’s online guest book may be signed by visiting To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Michael L. Laughlin, please visit our flower store.


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