History Highlight: An Unlikely Friendship

07.23.15 History post
Charlie Daniel (left) and Roger Milliken (right)

When Charlie Daniel and Roger Milliken met in 1939, they had no idea the impact their partnership would have on the development of the Upstate.

From complete opposite backgrounds, Daniel and Milliken could not have been more different. Daniel was a Georgia-born Citadel graduate who served in WWI and worked as a builder. Milliken was a New York City-born Yale graduate who majored in French history and helped run his family’s textile company.

After their initial meeting at a plant in Union, SC, Milliken, 24 and Daniel, 45 formed a close alliance. It wasn’t long before the pair began designing, renovating and building plants across the state.

There was never a contract between the two, just respect, confidence, trust and a firm handshake. Milliken would act as the conceptual designer of a project, Daniel would share his input, the engineers would complete the project, Milliken would approve and then Daniel and his company would do the job quickly and well.

Milliken was known for his countless questions, all reflecting his thoroughness, genuine curiosity and passion for quality. Daniel was known for his legendary Sunday morning meetings with executives and weekly job site inspections. Together, they formed a hardworking, smart and thorough dynamic duo.

In addition to the countless projects they worked on together, they were also responsible for assembling the team, developing the design and selling the idea for what is now our very own GSP International Airport.

It is safe to say that without the vision and determination of these two unique individuals and their unlikely partnership, our airport would cease to exist.

To read more about Milliken, Daniel or the history of the airport, be sure to check out “Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport: Upstate South Carolina’s Gateway to the World, A History” by Dave Partridge.

Happy travels,

– The Terminal

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