Fritz Hollings

Former U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings, shown here at a 1998 victory party, died on April 6, 2019.

One of South Carolina's most noted politicians is gone.

Ernest F. "Fritz" Hollings, the Democratic former governor of South Carolina and former longtime United States senator, died early Saturday morning. He was 97.

Hollings will lie in repose at the South Carolina State House on April 15, ahead of an April 16 funeral at The Citadel.

A straight-out-of-central-casting old Southern Democrat, known for his Charleston accent, Hollings was the lieutenant governor of South Carolina from 1955-59, and was governor from 1959-63. He later was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he served from 1966-2005.

Tributes have poured in for Hollings from both sides of the aisle.

 “Fritz was a good man," Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden said. "A patriot who fought for his country in uniform and elected office. A friend who lifted me up when it mattered the most early in my career, and taught, as he’s done for generations of South Carolinians, how to live a life of purpose and service. Now rest peacefully, friend, once again with your beloved Peatsy.”

Peatsy Hollings, the senator's second wife, died in 2012.

Gov. Henry McMaster said Hollings' impact on the state has been long-lasting.

“One of South Carolina’s greatest lions roars no more," McMaster said of Fritz Hollings. "Fierce, bold and robust — the sounds of Fritz Hollings’ vision and drive for the Palmetto State will continue to be heard by generations. The greatness and success of this state has benefited from the hand of his leadership.”

We're improving out commenting experience.

We’ve temporarily removed comments from articles while we work on a new and better commenting experience. In the meantime, subscribers are encouraged to join the conversation on our Free Times Facebook page.