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COLUMBIA, S.C. _ Cot Campbell's gift of gab secured white-collar positions and his grit saw him through blue-collar jobs.
After a variety of in-and-out jobs, his resolution made him a success.
For the past 25 years, Campbell's Dogwood Stable of Aiken has loomed as a major force in horse racing after pioneering syndicated thoroughbred ownership.
But Campbell labored on his pauper-to-prince trail for longer than he likes to remember.
The high school dropout first joined the Navy, then flunked out of college before trying his hand at whatever way he could put bread on the table.
Through whiskey-glazed eyes, Campbell became a Florida water show boat driver, then moved up to the show's Master of Ceremonies.
Next, he went to Chicago to publicize Florida oranges; traveled to West Virginia as an auto-tire worker; and moved back to Florida to drive an ambulance; and then parked cars in Miami.
Always on the move, Campbell found his way up to Tampa to try his hand as a newspaper reporter, and on to Winter Haven, Fla., to become sports editor of a paper. Next, he wound up as an assembly-line worker.
Whether the jobs involved manual labor or desk work, whether they required brawn or brain, Campbell went through them like Sherman through Columbia.
``All the jobs came during a period when, it was no secret, I was a very heavy drinker, to put it mildly,'' Campbell said.
Campbell came upon his youthful adventuresome lifestyle naturally; he …