Fritz Hollings, Dem Senator For 38 Years, Dies At 97

The Charleston Post & Courier reports:

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.

He would serve in Washington, D.C., for nearly 40 years, all but two of which were as the “junior” senator from South Carolina to Republican Sen. Strom Thurmond. Hollings rose through the ranks of the Democratic leadership to become chairman of the powerful Commerce Committee. In 1984, he briefly ran for president of the United States, failing to gain much traction.