Former Vice President Joe Biden will deliver the eulogy for the late U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings at his funeral next week at The Citadel, the family announced Monday.
Biden and Hollings cemented a close relationship in Washington, D.C., as they served as deskmates in the Senate, so Biden's appearance was widely anticipated.
Other speakers will include Republican Gov. Henry McMaster and U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., the third-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives.
Biden and Holling's friendship has been well-documented, including during their last public appearance together in 2017, when Biden, of Delaware, appeared for Hollings' statue unveiling at the federal courthouse in Charleston.
"Fritz is the reason I was the vice president of the United States and a United States senator,” Biden said at the time. “You instilled an enormous amount of confidence in me, Fritz.”
He said Hollings was “one of the greatest senators this state has ever had.”
Hollings died early Saturday at 97 in his Isle of Palms home after a period of declining health. He represented South Carolina in Washington for 38 years, from 1966-2004.
Biden also appeared at the dedication of the University of South Carolina library bearing Hollings’ name in 2010. He brought up Hollings’ book, "The Case Against Hunger: A Demand for a National Policy," and how it sparked a national debate on hunger in America.
“Fritz was the first person on a national political scale talking about how a child cannot learn, a child cannot develop, a child cannot have an even shot at their place in this society, if they don’t have the nutrition when they’re young,” Biden said.
“It wasn’t just about hunger," he added. "It wasn’t just about poverty, which was critically important. It wasn’t an extension of the New Deal. It was a new idea, a new idea.”
This is the second South Carolina senator Biden will eulogize. He gave remarks at the 2003 funeral of Republican Strom Thurmond, whom he referred to as his "chairman" from their days on the Judiciary Committee.
Other speakers also are expected to make remarks at the funeral.
The schedule for Hollings' memorial services are as follows:
Visitation: 3-6 p.m. Sunday at James A. McAlister Funerals and Cremation, 1620 Savannah Highway, Charleston
Public observance: Hollings’ body will lie in repose 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 15 in the Statehouse, 1100 Gervais St., Columbia
Funeral: 11 a.m. April 16 at Summerall Chapel, The Citadel, 171 Moultrie St., Charleston
In lieu of flowers, memorials are being asked to be made to the Hollings Cancer Center. Designate on the memo line in memory of Hollings and make checks payable to: MUSC Foundation – Hollings Cancer Center, Office of Development, 86 Jonathan Lucas St., MSC 955, Charleston, SC 29425.