U.S. Rep. James Clyburn was 12 years old when he was elected president of his local NAACP youth chapter.

Years later, the Sumter native helped organize civil rights marches as a student leader at South Carolina State College in Orangeburg. After being jailed during one of those events in 1960, Clyburn met his wife, Emma, when she shared a hamburger with him as he waited to post bail.

Today Clyburn, 78, is the dean of the state’s congressional delegation and the third-ranking Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives.