CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Earlier today, Friends, family, and former colleagues of the late United States Senator, Ernest “Fritz” Hollings gathered at the James A. McAlister Funeral Home in West Ashley to pay their respects. The Former Governor of South Carolina passed away just last week at the age of 97.
While cameras were not allowed inside of the public visitation, reflection on the incredible work and character of Sen. Hollings resounded in the air outside the funeral home.
Mayor John Tecklenburg, City of Charleston, says “Frankly, I don’t know that there’s been a more effective and a leader who has done more for South Carolina than Fritz Hollings.”
Mayor Tecklenburg calls Sen. Hollings a friend, mentor, and even credits his interest in politics to him. He says, “He inspired me to want to run for political office. I believe that public service is a good thing.”
Jim Rowe, a friend and colleague of the late senator, praises his dedication to seeing integration in South Carolina and our Nation. He says, “He was one of the smartest senators on the hill. He accomplished a lot at a very early age, being the governor of South Carolina and getting the state to come to grips with integration.”
Mary Jo Manning, the former legislative director for Senator Hollings, remembers him as a champion of women and minorities— leading the way in Washington by offering her a job that had never before been offered to a woman. She says, “I was the first woman counsel on the communications sub-committee. He named the first black chairman chief counsel of the full committee.”
His dedication to South Carolinians and service to our nation leave a legacy. His heart for people not easily forgotten.
Alexander Shaw, Retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army and former staff of Sen. Hollings says, “He really cared about the people. He really though continually about what he can do to make the lives of people in South Carolina just that much better.”
For more information on the services happening this week for Sen. Hollings, click on our special section honoring him.