Sam is a native of Monticello, Georgia and attended boarding high school at Baylor School. He is a 1987 graduate of the University of Georgia with a BBA in finance and serves as Chairman Emeritus of the UGA Foundation and UGA Real Estate Foundation. He is on the Board of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Atlanta Speech School, and Baylor School. Sam is also involved in Leadership Georgia and Gridiron Secret Society.

Sam has been married for 29 years to the former Lara Horne from Athens, Georgia, where they met as students at the University of Georgia. Sam and Lara have three children, two are graduates of UGA and the other is a high school junior. Sam and Lara are active members of Northside United Methodist Church, where Sam has served as Lay Leader, Church Council member, and Sunday School teacher.