Gowdy calls Spartanburg home. He is the son of Novalene (née Evans) and Dr. Harold Watson "Hal" Gowdy, Jr. . He earned a B.A. in history from Baylor University in 1986. He was a member of Kappa Omega Tau, a service/social Fraternity while at Baylor University. He earned a J.D. degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1989. In law school, a member of the scholastic honor society "Wig and Robe."