Cultural heritage chief executive and author Emory Shaw Campbell was born on October 11,1941 on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. He attended elementary school on Hilton HeadIsland. Campbell travelled to the nearby city of Bluffton, South Carolina to attend Michael C. RileyHigh School where he graduated as class valedictorian in 1960. He received his B.A. degree inbiology in 1965 from Savannah State College, and in 1971, he earned his M.A. degree from TuftsUniversity in Boston, Massachusetts.
Campbell served as the Director of Community Service Education at the BeaufortJasperComprehensive Health Services in Ridgeland, South Carolina for ten years before becomingDirector of the Penn Center on St. Helena Island in 1980. The historic Penn Center, which openedin the 1800s to educate freed slaves, serves as a center to preserve the history and heritage ofthe Island.During his tenure at the Penn Center, Campbell spearheaded efforts to create a family connectionbetween the Gullah people and the people of Sierra Leone in West Africa. In 1988, he hostedSierra Leone President Joseph Momoh at the Penn Center for the Gullah reunion and became anHonorary Paramount Chief in 1989 when he led the historic Gullah Reunion to Sierra Leone. Adocumentary of these two events has been produced for South Carolina Educational Television.
Campbell’s work to preserve the Gullah culture has led him to write several publications one ofwhich is "Gullah Cultural Legacies." He also worked on a project to translate the New Testamentof the Bible into the Gullah language. In 2005, he received the Carter G. Woodson Memorial foroutstanding work. He retired from the Penn Center in 2002 and is the President of Gullah HeritageConsulting Services.Campbell lives on Hilton Head Island with his wife, Emma. They have two adult children, Ochiengand Ayoka.