Rivers Lawton McIntosh was born in 1960 in Anderson, South Carolina and was raised in Anderson County. His father, Jack Furman McIntosh was an attorney; and his mother; Frances Varn McIntosh was a homemaker. During high school and college, he was involved with organized sports. He has one step-daughter.
He went to Wofford College and lettered in football. He was a member of SAE, graduating in 1982. He went to USC Law School and graduated in 1986 with Juris Doctor.
He was a law clerk for the Honorable Luke N. Brown Jr., Circuit Court Judge, Fourteenth (14th) Judicial Circuit until May 1987. In May of 1987, he was hired as an associate by McIntosh & Sherard; and he later became a partner of the practice now McIntosh, Sherard and Sullivan.
He was elected to the Circuit Court Bench, Tenth Judicial Circuit, Seat 1, On May 13, 2009.