On Monday, two women made history as the first female members ever allowed at Georgia‘s storied Augusta National Golf Club. One of them is Condoleezza Rice — the former U.S. Secretary of State, accomplished pianist and enthusiastic golfer. The other is Darla Moore — about whom much less is known.
• Darla Moore, 58, was born on Aug. 1, 1954, in Lake City, South Carolina, to Eugene and Loraine Moore. She earned her political science degree from the University of South Carolina in just three years and went on to get her MBA from George Washington University in 1981.
• Moore became the highest paid woman in finance in the 1980s and 1990s — and became one of the industry’s biggest names — while working for Chemical Bank as a specialist in bankruptcy takeovers.
• In 1991 she married billionaire investor Richard Rainwater and became vice president of of his private investment company, Rainwater Inc.
• Moore was the first woman to land on the cover of Fortune, and she was named to their list of 50 most powerful women in business.
• In 1996, Moore booted T. Boone Pickens as the leader of natural gas and oil producer Mesa Inc., a company Pickens founded but had led into debt. Moore invested $66 million in the company, took control, and made money in the turnaround.
• The University of South Carolina renamed its business school after Moore in 1998, with a $25 million donation helping them in the decision. She donated another $45 million to the business school in 2005. She also gave $10 million in 2003 to the School of Education at Clemson University, which was renamed in honor of her father, Eugene T. Moore, a Clemson alum.
• Darla and Richard own homes in Lake City, New York City, Folsom, Calif., and Charleston, S.C.
• Moore and former Augusta chairman Hootie Johnson are friends, and Moore had been considered for the spot as first female member of August National for as many as five years.
• Moore has served on countless corporate boards, including Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, the National Advisory Board of JP Morgan, the University of South Carolina, and The South Financial Group.
“Augusta National has always captured my imagination, and is one of the most magically beautiful places anywhere in the world, as everyone gets to see during the Masters each April. I am fortunate to have many friends who are members at Augusta National, so to be asked to join them as a member represents a very happy and important occasion in my life.” (New York Times, Aug. 20, 2012)
“These accomplished women share our passion for the game of golf and both are well known and respected by our membership.” — Billy Payne, chairman of Augusta National (Wall Street Journal, Aug. 20, 2012)
“This is somebody who is driven to succeed. Whatever it is that she focuses on, get out of the way, because she’s gonna get there.” — former boss Bob Conway (CNN, 1998).