“He Was Among the Best of Us”: People Reflect on Sen. Fritz Holling’s Legacy

The Senator's body lay in repose at the State House Monday

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) — Hundreds visited the State House to pay their respects to Senator Fritz Hollings as his body lay in repose Monday.

Several people from all walks of life said they fondly look back at Hollings’s legacy, including Bishop Fred James, a longtime leader in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

“For fifty-five years, it was my privilege and my blessing to have a relationship with this man,” Bishop James said.
“He did not talk his faith. He walked it.”

In more than fifty years serving the state as a Governor (1959-1963) and Senator (1966-2005), one thing that sticks out to some people was the way he encouraged South Carolinians to find innovative ways to be successful.

“We have a group of people who have an education because Fritz Hollings believed that not everybody was going to go to a four-year school when they needed a two-year education, and that’s one of his greatest legacies to our state,” said Trav Robertson, the Chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party.

Senator Hollings fought for several issues in his nearly five decades on Capitol Hill, but many people say they’ll remember how he always put South Carolina first.

“He was blunt and he was bright and he was bold. Really ahead of his time for South Carolina at that time, but he took that step forward,” said James Felder, who served in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1970 to 1972.

“I’m proud to have known him and proud that he was representing South Carolina in this country and around the world. He was among the best of us,” said Governor Henry McMaster (R-SC), who ran against Hollings for his Senate seat in 1986. 

Hollings passed away at the age of 97 on April 6.

His funeral will be held Tuesday at 11 a.m. at Summerall Chapel at The Citadel in Charleston.

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