Judge Dale Atkinson was born in Sumter, S.C. in 1955. He is the son of the late Harry and Jeanette Atkinson. He attended the public schools of Sumter, graduating from Sumter High School in 1973, and later receiving a Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice from St. Leo University and a Masters degree in Public Administration from Troy State University in Troy, Alabama.
Judge Atkinson was an officer with the Sumter Police Department for twenty seven years, retiring at the rank of Major in 2002. He was elected to the office of Probate Judge of Sumter County in November, 2002 and began the duties of that office on January 1, 2003.
He enjoys hunting and fishing in his spare time as well as volunteering as a hunting, boating and firearms instructor for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
Judge Atkinson and his wife, Virginia, live in the Oswego Community of Sumter County. He has four daughters and four grandchildren.