Ernest Frederick “Fritz” Hollings, the charismatic and quick-witted former U.S. senator and South Carolina governor who became one of the state’s most important national political figures, died early Saturday after a period of declining health.
He was 97.
“Our father, Fritz Hollings, was dedicated to his family, the United States Senate and the people of South Carolina,” his three surviving children said in a statement. “He was a hero for us and millions of Americans.
“While we are heartbroken, we hope that in the coming days and weeks as we celebrate our father’s life, all South Carolinian’s will be reminded of his service to our state and nation.”
In a career that spanned more than half a century, Hollings steered South Carolina through the civil rights era, established a program to feed poor pregnant women, enacted legislation to protect the environment and brought home millions of dollars as he also fought to balance the federal budget.
No recent history of the state could be written without him in it.
JUST IN: Former SC governor, US Senator Ernest F. ‘Fritz’ Hollings passed away this morning at age 97.
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— The Post and Courier (@postandcourier) April 6, 2019