Fritz Hollings

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Fritz Hollings
United States Senator
from South Carolina
In office
November 9, 1966 January 3, 2005
Preceded by Donald Russell
Succeeded by Jim DeMint
106th Governor of South Carolina
In office
January 20, 1959 January 15, 1963
Lieutenant Burnet R. Maybank Jr.
Preceded by George Timmerman
Succeeded by Donald Russell
77th Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina
In office
January 18, 1955 January 20, 1959
GovernorGeorge Timmerman
Preceded byGeorge Timmerman
Succeeded byBurnet Maybank
Personal details
Ernest Frederick Hollings

(1922-01-01)January 1, 1922
Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.
DiedApril 6, 2019(2019-04-06) (aged 97)
Isle of Palms, South Carolina, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Martha Salley
(m. 1946;div. 1971)

Rita Liddy
(m. 1971;died 2012)
Education The Citadel (BS)
University of South Carolina, Columbia (LLB)
Signature Ernest F Hollings Signature.svg
Military service
AllegianceFlag of the United States (1912-1959).svg  United States
Branch/service Seal of the United States Department of War.png United States Army
Years of service1942–1945
RankCaptain [1]
Battles/wars World War II

Ernest Frederick "Fritz" Hollings (January 1, 1922 – April 6, 2019) was an American politician who served as a United States Senator from South Carolina from 1966 to 2005. A conservative Democrat, he was also the Governor of South Carolina and the 77th Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina. He served alongside Democrat turned Republican Senator Strom Thurmond for 36 years, making them the longest-serving Senate duo in history. At the time of his death, he was the oldest living former U.S. Senator.

South Carolina U.S. state in the United States

South Carolina is a state in the Southeastern United States and the easternmost of the Deep South. It is bordered to the north by North Carolina, to the southeast by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the southwest by Georgia across the Savannah River.

Democratic Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with its rival, the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party.

Governor of South Carolina Head of state and of government of the U.S. state of South Carolina

The governor of the State of South Carolina is the head of state for the state of South Carolina. Under the South Carolina Constitution, the governor is also the head of government, serving as the chief executive of the South Carolina executive branch. The governor is the ex officio commander-in-chief of the National Guard when not called into federal use. The governor's responsibilities include making yearly "State of the State" addresses to the South Carolina General Assembly, submitting an executive budget and ensuring that state laws are enforced.


Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Hollings graduated from The Citadel in 1942 and joined a law practice in Charleston after attending the University of South Carolina School of Law. During World War II, he served as an artillery officer in campaigns in North Africa and Europe. After the war, Hollings successively won election to the South Carolina House of Representatives, as Lieutenant Governor, and as Governor. He sought election to the Senate in 1962 but was defeated by incumbent Olin D. Johnston.

Charleston, South Carolina City in the United States

Charleston is the oldest and largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina, the county seat of Charleston County, and the principal city in the Charleston–North Charleston–Summerville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city lies just south of the geographical midpoint of South Carolina's coastline and is located on Charleston Harbor, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean formed by the confluence of the Ashley, Cooper, and Wando rivers. Charleston had an estimated population of 136,208 in 2018. The estimated population of the Charleston metropolitan area, comprising Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties, was 787,643 residents as of 2018, the third-largest in the state and the 78th-largest metropolitan statistical area in the United States.

The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina U.S. military college in Charleston, South Carolina

The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina is a public military college in Charleston, South Carolina. Established in 1842, it is one of six United States senior military colleges. It has 18 academic departments divided into five schools offering 29 majors and 38 minors. The military program is made up of cadets pursuing bachelor's degrees who live on campus. The non-military programs offer 10 undergraduate degrees, 24 graduate degrees, as well as online/distance programs with 7 online graduate degrees, 3 online undergraduate degrees and 3 certificate programs.

University of South Carolina School of Law

The University of South Carolina School of Law, also known as South Carolina Law or SC Law, is one of the professional schools of the University of South Carolina. South Carolina Law was founded in 1867 in Columbia, South Carolina, and is the only public and non-profit law school in the state of South Carolina. The school has been accredited by the American Bar Association since 1925 and has been a member of the Association of American Law Schools since 1924. According to South Carolina's 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 68.6% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.

Johnston died in 1965, and the following year Hollings won a special election to serve the remainder of Johnston's term. Though the Republican Party became increasingly dominant in South Carolina after 1966, Hollings remained popular and continually won re-election, becoming one of the longest-serving Senators in U.S. history. Hollings sought the Democratic nomination in the 1984 presidential election but dropped out of the race after the New Hampshire primary. He declined to seek re-election in 2004 and was succeeded by Republican Jim DeMint.

1984 United States presidential election 50th quadrennial presidential election in the United States

The 1984 United States presidential election was the 50th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 6, 1984. Incumbent Republican President Ronald Reagan defeated former Vice President Walter Mondale, the Democratic candidate.

New Hampshire primary

The New Hampshire primary is the first in a series of nationwide party primary elections and the second party contest held in the United States every four years as part of the process of choosing the delegates to the Democratic and Republican national conventions which choose the party nominees for the presidential elections to be held the subsequent November. Although only a few delegates are chosen in the New Hampshire primary, its real importance comes from the massive media coverage it receives. Spurred by the events of the 1968 election, reforms that began with the 1972 election elevated the two states' importance to the overall election, and began to receive as much media attention as all other state contests combined. Examples of this extraordinary coverage have been seen on the campuses of Dartmouth College and Saint Anselm College, as the colleges have held multiple national debates and have attracted media outlets like NPR, Fox News, CNN, NBC, and ABC. The publicity and momentum can be enormous from a decisive win by a frontrunner, or better-than-expected result in the New Hampshire primary. The upset or weak showing by a front-runner changes the calculus of national politics in a matter of hours, as happened in 1952 (D), 1968 (D), 1980 (R), and 2008 (D).

Jim DeMint United States Senator from South Carolina

James Warren DeMint is an American political advocate, businessman, author, and retired politician who served as a United States Senator from South Carolina and as president of the Heritage Foundation. DeMint is a member of the Republican Party and a leading figure in the Tea Party movement; he is also the founder of the Senate Conservatives Fund.

Early life

Hollings was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of Wilhelmine Dorothea Meyer (1888–1982) and Adolph Gevert Hollings, Sr. (1882–1940). [2] [3] He was of German descent. [4] Hollings was raised at 338 President St. in the Hampton Park Terrace neighborhood from the age of 10 until he enrolled in college.[ citation needed ]

Hampton Park Terrace United States historic place

Hampton Park Terrace is the name both of a neighborhood and a National Register district located in peninsular Charleston, South Carolina. The neighborhood is bounded on the west by The Citadel, on the north by Hampton Park, on the east by Rutledge Ave., and on the south by Congress St. In addition, the one block of Parkwood Ave. south of Congress St. is considered, by some, to be included. The National Register district, on the other hand, is composed of the same area with two exceptions: (1) the northeasternmost block is excluded and (2) an extra block of President St. is included.


Hollings graduated from The Citadel in 1942, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree. He achieved an LL.B. in 1947 after 21 months at the University of South Carolina, and joined a law practice in Charleston. [5] Hollings was a member of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. He was married to Rita Liddy "Peatsy" Hollings from August 21, 1971, until her death in October 2012. [6] [7] [7] [8] He had four children (Michael, [9] Helen, [10] Patricia Salley, [11] and Ernest the 3rd [12] ) with his first wife, Martha Patricia Salley Hollings, [7] [13] [14] whom he married on March 30, 1946. [15] He was a Lutheran. In addition, Fritz and Patricia had two sons who died. [16]

A Bachelor of Arts is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, sciences, or both. Bachelor of Arts programs generally take three to four years depending on the country, institution, and specific specializations, majors, or minors. The word baccalaureus should not be confused with baccalaureatus, which refers to the one- to two-year postgraduate Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree in some countries.

Pi Kappa Phi fraternity

Pi Kappa Phi (ΠΚΦ) commonly known as Pi Kapp, is an American Greek Letter secret and social fraternity. It was founded by Andrew Alexander Kroeg Jr., Lawrence Harry Mixson, and Simon Fogarty Jr. on December 10, 1904 at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. The fraternity has 187 active chapters, and more than 113,000 initiated members.

He served as an officer in the U.S. Army's 353rd and 457th Artillery units from 1942 to 1945, during World War II, and was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service in direct support of combat operations from December 13, 1944, to May 1, 1945, in France and Germany. He received the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with five Bronze Service Stars for participation in the Tunisia, Southern France, Rome-Arno, and Central Europe Campaigns. [17]

United States Army Land warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, and is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution. As the oldest and most senior branch of the U.S. military in order of precedence, the modern U.S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, which was formed to fight the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)—before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, and dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775.

World War II 1939–1945, between Axis and Allies

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from more than 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Bronze Star Medal United States military decoration for wartime meritorious service or valor

The Bronze Star Medal is a United States decoration awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces for either heroic achievement, heroic service, meritorious achievement, or meritorious service in a combat zone.

Political career

He served three terms in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1949 to 1954. After only one term, Hollings' colleagues elected him Speaker Pro Tempore in 1951 and 1953. [18] He was subsequently elected Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina in 1954, and Governor in 1958 at the age of 36.[ citation needed ]

Governor of South Carolina

As governor of South Carolina from January 20, 1959, to January 15, 1963, Hollings worked to improve the state's educational system, helping to bring more industry and employment opportunities to the state. His term in office saw the establishment of the state's technical education system and its educational television network. He also called for and achieved significant increases in teachers' salaries, bringing them closer to the regional average. At the 1961 Governor's Conference on Business, Industry, Education and Agriculture in Columbia, South Carolina, he declared, "Today, in our complex society, education is the cornerstone upon which economic development must be built—and prosperity assured." [19]

During Hollings' term as governor, the Confederate battle flag was flown above the South Carolina State House underneath the U.S. and state flags. The battle flag was placed over the dome in 1962 by a concurrent resolution of the state legislature during the commemoration of the Civil War centennial. [20]  The resolution failed to designate a time for its removal. In 2000 the state legislature voted to move the flag from above the state house to a Confederate soldiers' monument in front of the building, [21] where it remained until 2015, when Republican governor Nikki Haley ordered it removed following the murders of nine black churchgoers by a Confederate sympathizer in the state earlier that year. [22] [23]

In his last address to the General Assembly on January 9, 1963, ahead of the peaceful admission to Clemson University of its first black student, Harvey Gantt, Hollings declared: "As we meet, South Carolina is running out of courts ... this General Assembly must make clear South Carolina's choice, a government of laws rather than a government of men…This should be done with dignity. It should be done with law and order." [24]

Hollings oversaw the last executions in South Carolina before the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Furman v. Georgia , which temporarily banned capital punishment. During his term, eight inmates were put to death by electric chair. The last was rapist Douglas Thorne, on April 20, 1962. [25]

He sought the Democratic nomination for a seat in the U.S. Senate in 1962 but lost to incumbent Olin D. Johnston.[ citation needed ]

United States Senator

Early Senate career

Hollings in 1969 Ernest Hollings 91st Congress.jpg
Hollings in 1969

Johnston died on April 18, 1965. Hollings' successor as governor, Donald S. Russell, resigned in order to accept appointment to the Senate seat. In the summer of 1966, Hollings defeated Russell in the Democratic primary for the remaining two years of the term. He then narrowly won the special election on November 8, 1966, against the Democrat-turned-Republican Marshall Parker, and was sworn in shortly thereafter. He gained seniority on other newly elected U.S. senators who would have to wait until January 1967 to take the oath of office. In 1967, he was one of eleven senators who voted against the nomination of Thurgood Marshall to become the first black justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. The following year, Hollings won the Senate seat for his first full term when he again defeated Marshall Parker but in this instance by a much wider margin.

For thirty-six years (until January 2003), he served alongside Republican Strom Thurmond, making them the longest-serving Senate duo in the history of the United States to date. This also made Hollings the longest-serving junior senator, even though he had more seniority than all but a few of his colleagues. Thurmond and Hollings generally had a good relationship despite their sometimes sharp philosophical differences, and frequently collaborated on legislation and projects to benefit South Carolina. Their combined seniority gave South Carolina clout in national politics well beyond its relatively small population. Only Thurmond, Robert Byrd, Ted Kennedy, Daniel Inouye, Carl Hayden, John Stennis, Ted Stevens, Pat Leahy, Orrin Hatch, and Thad Cochran have served longer in the Senate than did Hollings.

In 1970, Hollings authored The Case Against Hunger: A Demand for a National Policy, acknowledging the Reverend I.D. Newman and Sister Mary Anthony for opening his eyes to the despair caused by hunger and helping him realize that he must do something about it. [26] Hollings made headlines the year before when he toured poverty-stricken areas of South Carolina, often referred to as his "Hunger Tours." He was accused of drawing unwanted attention to South Carolina when other states — North and South — also faced extreme poverty. Hollings knew South Carolina was not alone in its struggle and thought that if any politician was going to investigate hunger in South Carolina, it was going to at least be a South Carolinian. After a tour of an East Charleston slum, he said, "I don't want Romney and Kennedy coming here to look at my slums. As a matter of fact when I get caught up with my work, I think I may go look at the slums of Boston." [27] For his efforts, Hollings was also accused of "scheming for the Negro vote." Hollings, who had seen plenty of white hunger and poverty and slums on his tours, responded, "You just don't make political points on hunger. The poor aren't registered to vote and they won't vote." [28] In February 1969, however, Hollings testified as to what he had seen on his fact-finding tours in front of the Senate Select Committee on Hunger and Human Needs. Charleston's News and Courier (now The Post and Courier ) reported that "Senators, members of the press corps and visitors packed in the hearing room watched and listened in disbelief as Hollings detailed dozens of tragically poignant scenes of human suffering in his state." [29] Hollings recommended to the committee that free food stamps be distributed to the most needy, and just over a day later, Senator George McGovern announced that free food stamps would be distributed in South Carolina as part of a national pilot program for feeding the hungry. [29]

Hollings and his first wife separated in 1970 and divorced in 1971. Their children lived with their mother, and Hollings never discussed the reason for the divorce. Later that year, he married Rita Liddy "Peatsy" Hollings (born 1935), who was 13 years his junior. [30] She had joined his administrative staff in 1967. [31] It was her first and his second marriage. They were married 41 years until her death in 2012.

In the 1970s, Hollings joined with fellow senators Kennedy and Henry M. Jackson in a press conference to oppose President Gerald Ford's request that Congress end Richard Nixon's price controls on domestic oil, which had helped to cause the gasoline lines during the 1973 Oil Crisis. [32] Hollings said he believed ending the price controls (as was eventually done in 1981) would be a "catastrophe" that would cause "economic chaos." [32]

In February 1970, during a session of debate on federal aid to school districts serving children living in public housing units, Hollings asked New York Senator Jacob K. Javits if he would support the anti-busing amendment given that it was based on New York law. [33]

In September 1970, during a speech at the University of Georgia in Athens, Hollings declared that the United States could not afford such "leadership by political bamboozle", calling on Americans to ignore the voices of discord and unite for "meaningful changes" in society. Hollings said President Nixon had led the U.S. down a "clamorous road of drift and division" and criticized the "ranting rhetoric" of Vice President Spiro Agnew. Hollings attributed the principal blame for the disunity of the U.S. on special interest groups and "impatient minority blocs" that had shouted "non negotiable demands". Hollings linked former President Johnson and President Nixon with having both "attacked the politics of the problem rather than the problems themselves." [34]

In February 1971, Hollings introduced Ted Kennedy in Charleston, South Carolina, ahead of his remarks calling for an end to the Vietnam War. Hollings disclosed that Kennedy had sought his advice on how to answer reporters' questions regarding a possible presidential campaign and that Kennedy was of the belief that his visit would spark speculation on the part of reporters about a campaign regardless of what he said. [35]

In November 1971, Hollings announced his opposition to the nomination of Earl Butz for United States Secretary of Agriculture. [36]

In 1972, Hollings and Republican William Saxbe sponsored a resolution bestowing early United States recognition on Bangladesh as the Nixon administration sought a policy of delaying recognition until "there were commensurate diplomatic benefits to the United States." [37]

In 1977, Hollings was one of five Democrats to vote against the nomination of F. Ray Marshall as United States Secretary of Labor. [38]

In early 1979, United States Secretary of State Cyrus Vance sought permission from a Senate Appropriations subcommittee to transfer $2 million in funds for the American Embassy to the new unofficial American Institute in Taiwan. Hollings was one of four members of the committee to oppose Vance's request during the latter's appearance before the subcommittee and Hollings later sent a letter to Vance declining the request. Hollings explained that "a smooth transition to unofficial relations may be threatened" in the event of funds not being transferred to the American Institute before the American Embassy in Taiwan ceased its function by its designated date of March 1. Hollings' opposition was considered unusual given that most requests were approved and State Department officials publicly stated their wishes for Hollings and his colleagues to drop their opposition in the face of Taiwan's reluctant agreement to setting up "nongovernmental body in Washington" that would serve as the counterpart to the American Institute in Taipei. [39]

In 1979, Hollings opposed legislation enabling the United States to admit 1,000 additional Indochinese refugees a month amid increased concern in both the Carter administration and Congress regarding moves by the Vietnamese government to force ethnic Chinese to flee the country at a rate of about 60,000 a month. [40]

In August 1979, Hollings announced his opposition to the United States-Soviet Union nuclear arms treaty, saying the treaty should be defeated unless amended with a reduction of Soviet military power. His proposal was believed to stir Russian disapproval of the treaty if implemented. Hollings also made an unsuccessful attempt to persuade the Senate Budget Committee to add $2.6 billion for a recommendation for military spending that would be included in Congress's second concurrent resolution on the budget. [41]

Presidential candidate

Hollings unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in the presidential election of 1984. Hollings' wit and experience, as well as his call for a budget freeze, won him some positive attention, but his relatively conservative record alienated liberal Democrats, and he was never really noticed in a field dominated by Walter Mondale, John Glenn and Gary Hart. Hollings dropped out two days after losing badly in the New Hampshire Primary, and endorsed Hart a week later. His disdain for his competitors sometimes showed. He notably referred to Mondale as a "lapdog" and to former Astronaut Glenn as a "Sky King" who was "confused in his capsule." [42]

Later Senate career

On March 24, 1981, Hollings introduced legislation that if passed would restore the military draft with limited deferments and exemptions and stipulating that men aged 18 to 22 years old would be required to spend nine months of active service for basic training that potentially would precede reserve duty. Hollings' proposal granted deferments "to people on active duty, in the reserves or in advanced Reserve Officers Training Corps study; surviving sons or brothers of those killed in war or missing in action; conscientious objectors and ministers; doctors and others in vital health professions, and judges of courts of record and elected officials." Hollings stated that recruiting for the armed forces had fallen short of requirements by an estimated 23,000 people in 1979 and that he believed the draft applying to women "should be across the board" due to the issue continuing to be debated between the public and the courts. [43]

In 1981, Hollings apologized to fellow Democrat Howard Metzenbaum after Hollings referred to him as the "senator from B'nai B'rith" on the floor. Metzenbaum, who was Jewish, raised a point of personal privilege and Hollings's remarks were stricken from the record. [44]

In March 1985, the Senate Budget Committee approved a proposal sponsored by Hollings freezing military spending by not allowing any growth above inflation in fiscal year 1986 and bestowing three percent hikes in the following two years, Hollings after the vote saying that a pattern had been set for similar action on other budget items and predicted that the Budget Committee would also go against another Reagan administration supported position by freezing Social Security cost of living increases. [45]

On May 1, 1985, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation rejected an amendment to a bill reauthorizing the Federal Communications Commission prohibiting public television stations from swapping channels with commercial stations, Hollings afterward stating that the vote was "a tragic abdication by Congress of its over 60-year-old responsibility to protect the public's interest in broadcasting." [46]

In October 1985, Hollings and Republicans Phil Gramm and Warren Rudman sponsored an amendment to establish a budget deficit ceiling that would decline to zero by 1991 that was attached to a bill raising the debt limit of the federal government by more than $250 billion. The amendment was approved by a vote of 75 to 24 and was stated as a possible prelude to a balanced budget in five years without a tax increase by Secretary of the Treasury James Baker. [47]

During the 1988 Presidential primaries, Hollings endorsed Jesse Jackson. [48]

In October 1989, Hollings announced from his Washington office that he would request the General Accounting Office investigate efforts by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide timely assistance and funds to victims of Hurricane Hugo the previous month. Hollings charged FEMA with "stonewalling, fretting and filling out forms" and called on the federal government to become more active in trying to relieve areas devastated by Hurricane Hugo. [49]

In April 1990, Hollings planned the compiling of the Senate Budget Committee to vote on a cut in Social Security taxes, an idea initially forwarded at the end of the previous year by fellow Democratic senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan as a way of making Congress address what he considered to be a serious problem in the management of the Social Security trust funds. Hollings sought a revenue figure which reflected the $36 billion tax cut through a rollback of Social Security payroll taxes increases that were scheduled to take effect January 1 and confirmed he would ask his colleagues on the budget committee to remove the trust funds from the budget deficit calculation and vote on the 1991 budget including a $300 billion deficit. Hollings' plan included a 5 percent value-added tax on goods and services in addition to a 10 percent oil import fee as well as an increase in the top income tax rate to 33 percent among wealthiest taxpayers. The goal was considered an uphill battle where Hollings could be outmaneuvered in committee with parliamentary tactics that would result in the precluding of a straight up-or-down vote on the Social Security tax cut. Acknowledging this, Hollings said, "They may try to block me. But we will find a bill by God to cut Social Security taxes. There will be a vote." [50]

In January 1991, Hollings joined most Democratic senators in voting against a resolution authorizing war against Iraq. [51]

In 1993, Hollings told reporters that he attended international summits because, "Everybody likes to go to Geneva. I used to do it for the Law of the Sea conferences and you'd find those potentates from down in Africa, you know, rather than eating each other, they'd just come up and get a good square meal in Geneva." [44] Hollings had previously caused controversy when responding to Yoshio Sakurauchi's commentary that Americans are lazy and illiterate. Hollings replied, "You should draw a mushroom cloud and put underneath it, 'Made in America by lazy and illiterate Americans and tested in Japan'." [44]

Hollings remained very popular in South Carolina over the years, even as the state became increasingly friendly to Republicans at the national level. In his first three bids for a full term, he never dropped below 60 percent of the vote. In the 1992 election, however, he faced an unexpectedly close race against former Congressman Tommy Hartnett in what was otherwise a very good year for Democrats nationally. Hartnett had represented the Charleston area in Congress from 1981 to 1987, thus making him Hollings' congressman. His appeal in the Lowcountry – traditionally a swing region at the state level – enabled him to hold Hollings to only 50 percent of the vote.

In his last Senate race in 1998, Hollings faced Republican congressman Bob Inglis. One of the more heated moments of the race was a newspaper interview in which Hollings referred to Inglis as a "goddamn skunk". Hollings was re-elected 52%–45%.

On January 7, 2003, Hollings introduced the controversial Universal National Service Act of 2006, which would require all men and women aged 18–26 (with some exceptions) to perform a year of military service.

Senator Ernest Hollings Fritz Hollings press photo, color.jpg
Senator Ernest Hollings

On August 4, 2003, he announced that he would not run for re-election in November 2004. Republican Jim DeMint succeeded him.

As a senator, Hollings supported legislation in the interests of the established media distribution industry (such as the proposed "Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act"). His hard-line support of various client-side computer restrictions such as DRM and Trusted computing led the Fritz chip (a microchip that enforces such restrictions) to be nicknamed after him. Hollings also sponsored the Online Personal Privacy Act. [52]

In his later career, Hollings was moderate politically but was supportive of many civil rights bills. He voted for re-authorizing the Voting Rights Act in 1982. However, in 1967 he was one of the 11 senators who voted against the confirmation of Thurgood Marshall, the first black Supreme Court justice. [53] Hollings later voted in favor of the failed nomination of Robert Bork and also for the successful nomination of Clarence Thomas.

On fiscal issues, he was generally conservative, and was one of the primary sponsors of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act, an attempt to enforce limits on government spending.

Hollings and Howell Heflin of Alabama were the only two Democratic senators to vote against the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. [54]

Post Senatorial life and death

The J. Waties Waring Judicial Center at 83 Meeting Street in Downtown Charleston was formerly named the Hollings Judicial Center for the former governor and senator. Hollings Judicial Center in Charleston, SC IMG 4576.JPG
The J. Waties Waring Judicial Center at 83 Meeting Street in Downtown Charleston was formerly named the Hollings Judicial Center for the former governor and senator.

In retirement, Hollings wrote opinion editorials for newspapers in South Carolina and was a regular contributor to the Huffington Post. His opinion editorials were also published every week in, an independent protectionist news blog. In 2008, the University of South Carolina Press published Making Government Work, a book authored by Hollings with Washington, D.C., journalist Kirk Victor, imparting Hollings' view on the changes needed in Washington. Among other things, the book recommended a dramatic decrease in the amount of campaign spending. It also attacked free trade policies as inherently destructive, suggesting that certain protectionist measures built the United States and that only a few parties actually benefited from free trade, such as large manufacturing corporations. [56]

Hollings started the Hollings Scholarship in 2005. It gave over 100 undergraduates from around the country a 10-week internship with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and a monetary scholarship for the school year.

Hollings helped to establish the Hollings Center for International Dialogue, an organization which promotes dialogue between the United States and Turkey, the nations of the Middle East, North Africa, and Southwest Asia, and other countries with predominantly Muslim populations in order to open channels of communication, deepen cross-cultural understanding, expand people-to-people contacts, and generate new thinking on important international issues.

Hollings was also on the board of advisors as a distinguished visiting professor of Law with the Charleston School of Law. [57] He delivered the commencement address to the first graduating class there on May 19, 2007. [58] [59]

On April 6, 2019, Hollings died at the age of 97 at his home in Isle of Palms, South Carolina, following a period of declining health. [1] [60]

Electoral history

South Carolina U.S. Senate Special Election 1966
Democratic Fritz Hollings223,79051.35
Republican Marshall Parker 212,03248.65
South Carolina U.S. Senate Election 1968
Democratic Fritz Hollings (incumbent)404,06061.89
Republican Marshall Parker 248,78038.11
South Carolina U.S. Senate Election 1974
Democratic Fritz Hollings (incumbent)356,12669.50
Republican Gwen Bush 146,64528.62
Independent Harold Hough9,6261.88
South Carolina U.S. Senate Election 1980
Democratic Fritz Hollings (incumbent)612,55670.37
Republican Marshall Mays257,94629.63
South Carolina U.S. Senate Election 1986
Democratic Fritz Hollings (incumbent)463,35463.10
Republican Henry McMaster 261,39435.60
South Carolina U.S. Senate Election 1992
Democratic Fritz Hollings (incumbent)591,03050.07
Republican Thomas Hartnett 554,17546.95
Libertarian Mark Johnson22,9621.95
South Carolina U.S. Senate Election 1998
Democratic Fritz Hollings (incumbent)562,79152.68
Republican Bob Inglis 488,13245.69
Libertarian Richard T. Quillian16,9871.59

See also

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The 1968 United States Senate elections were elections for the United States Senate which coincided with the presidential election. Although Richard Nixon won the presidential election narrowly, the Republicans picked up five net seats in the Senate. Republicans would gain another seat after the election when Alaska Republican Ted Stevens was appointed to replace Democrat Bob Bartlett.

1966 United States Senate elections

The 1966 United States Senate elections was an election on November 8, 1966 for the United States Senate which occurred midway through the second term of President Lyndon B. Johnson. With divisions in the Democratic base over the Vietnam War, and with the traditional mid-term advantage of the party not holding the presidency, the Republicans took three Democratic seats. Despite Republican gains, the balance remained overwhelmingly in favor of the Democrats, who retained a 64–36 majority. This was also the first election that occurred after the Voting Rights Act of 1965 became law.

W. D. Workman Jr. American journalist and politician

William Douglas Workman Jr., known as W. D. Workman Jr., was a journalist, author, and a pioneer in the development of the 20th century South Carolina Republican Party. He carried his party's banner as a candidate for the United States Senate in 1962 and for the governorship in 1982. He lost to the Democrats, Olin D. Johnston and Richard Riley, respectively.

Henry McMaster American politician

Henry Dargan McMaster is an American politician, attorney and member of the Republican Party, who is the 117th Governor of South Carolina, in office since January 24, 2017.

Burnet R. Maybank American politician

Burnet Rhett Maybank was a U.S. Senator, the 99th Governor of South Carolina, and Mayor of Charleston, South Carolina. He is one of only twenty people in United States history to have been elected mayor, governor, and United States senator. Maybank was the direct descendant of five former South Carolina governors: Thomas Smith, Rawlins Lowndes, Robert Gibbes, James Moore and William Aiken, Jr. and one U.S. Senator, Robert Barnwell Rhett. He was the first governor from Charleston since the Civil War. His son, Burnet R. Maybank Jr., went on to become lieutenant governor of South Carolina and a later candidate for governor. His grandson, Burnet Maybank III, is a notable lawyer.

Thomas F. Hartnett American politician

Thomas Forbes "Tommy" Hartnett is a former U.S. Representative from South Carolina.

1954 United States Senate election in South Carolina

The 1954 South Carolina United States Senate election was held on November 2, 1954 to select the next U.S. Senator from the state of South Carolina. Senator Burnet R. Maybank did not face a primary challenge in the summer and was therefore renominated as the Democratic Party's nominee for the election in the fall. However, his death on September 1 left the Democratic Party without a nominee and the executive committee decided to nominate state Senator Edgar A. Brown as their candidate for the election. Many South Carolinians were outraged by the party's decision to forgo a primary election and former Governor Strom Thurmond entered the race as a write-in candidate. He easily won the election and became the first U.S. Senator to be elected by a write-in vote in an election where other candidates had ballot access.

1996 United States Senate election in South Carolina

The 1996 South Carolina United States Senate election was held on November 5, 1996 to select the U.S. Senator from the state of South Carolina. Popular incumbent Republican Senator Strom Thurmond won re-election against Democratic challenger Elliott Springs Close.

Harvey S. Peeler Jr. is an American politician. He is a member of the South Carolina Senate, representing the 14th District from since 1981, initially as a Democrat, and from October 1989, as a Republican. He was the Senate Majority Leader from 2005 to 2016.

1966 United States Senate special election in South Carolina

The 1966 South Carolina United States Senate special election was held on November 8, 1966 to select the U.S. Senator from the state of South Carolina. The election resulted from the death of Senator Olin D. Johnston in 1965. Then Governor Donald S. Russell entered in a prearranged agreement with Lieutenant Governor Robert Evander McNair in which Russell would resign his post so that he could be appointed Senator. However, former Governor Fritz Hollings won the Democratic primary election and went on to beat Republican state senator Marshall Parker in the general election to fill the remaining two years of the unexpired term.

1998 United States Senate election in South Carolina

The 1998 United States Senate election in South Carolina was held November 3, 1998. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Fritz Hollings won reelection to his sixth full term. As of 2019, this is the last Senate election in South Carolina won by a Democrat.

2004 United States Senate election in South Carolina

The 2004 United States Senate election in South Carolina was held on November 2, 2004. Longtime incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Fritz Hollings retired, and Republican U.S. Representative Jim DeMint won the open seat.

1992 United States Senate election in South Carolina

The 1992 United States Senate election in South Carolina was held on November 3, 1992. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Fritz Hollings won reelection to his fifth full term.

1968 United States Senate election in South Carolina

The 1968 South Carolina United States Senate election was held on November 5, 1968, to select the U.S. Senator from the state of South Carolina. Incumbent Democratic Senator Fritz Hollings easily defeated Republican state senator Marshall Parker in a rematch of the election two years earlier to win his first full term.

1986 United States Senate election in South Carolina

The 1986 South Carolina United States Senate election was held on November 4, 1986 to select the U.S. Senator from the state of South Carolina. Popular incumbent Democratic Senator Fritz Hollings easily defeated Republican challenger Henry McMaster to win his fourth full term. This is also the last US Senate election in South Carolina where the Democrat won with a double-digit margin.

1962 United States Senate election in South Carolina

The 1962 South Carolina United States Senate election was held on November 6, 1962 to select the U.S. Senator from the state of South Carolina. Incumbent Democratic Senator Olin D. Johnston defeated Governor Fritz Hollings in the Democratic primary and Republican W. D. Workman, Jr. in the general election.

Tim Scott United States Senator from South Carolina

Timothy Eugene Scott is an American politician and businessman serving as the junior United States Senator from South Carolina since 2013. Appointed by Governor Nikki Haley to replace the retiring Jim DeMint, he later won a special election in 2014 and was elected to a full term in 2016. A member of the Republican Party, Scott was endorsed for the Senate by Tea Party groups.

Joseph O. Rogers Jr. South Carolina lawyer and politician

Joseph Oscar "Joe" Rogers Jr., was an American lawyer from Manning, South Carolina, who served as a Democrat in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1955 to 1966, when he switched allegiance to the Republican Party. Rogers was the first serious Republican gubernatorial nominee in South Carolina in ninety years, but he was handily defeated in the 1966 general election by the incumbent Democrat Robert E. McNair.


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  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 18, 2015. Retrieved January 25, 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. "Mrs. Hollings Services". The Sumter Daily Item. August 23, 1982 via Google News Archive.
  4. Ballantyne, David T. (2016). New Politics in the Old South. University of South Carolina Press. ISBN   978-1-61117-704-6. JSTOR   j.ctv6sj8ws.
  5. Hollings, Ernest with Kirk Victor (2008). Making Government Work. Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press. p. 9.
  6. "Hollings, Ernest Frederick "'Fritz'" South Carolina Encyclopedia retrieved April 6, 2019
  7. 1 2 3 UPI (July 12, 1971). "Sen. Hollings to Wed Office Assistant". The Dispatch. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  8. Ruiz, Myra (July 23, 2010), Biden Speaks At Hollings Library Dedication, WYFF4 News, retrieved October 4, 2011[ permanent dead link ]
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  10. "Hollings Granddaughter Dies; Presidential Hopeful Flies Home". Ocala star-Banner. Associated Press. August 14, 1983. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  11. Schuyler Kropf (April 19, 2003). "Hollings family lays daughter to rest". The Post and Courier. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
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  13. "Ernest Frederick Hollings". October 4, 2011.
  14. Priscilla Meyer (February 5, 1961). "South Carolina's First Lady". The News and Courier. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
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  16. "Milestones, Mar. 23, 1959". Time Magazine. 1959. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  17. Once A Soldier...Always A Soldier: Soldiers in the 108th Congress. Arlington, Virginia: Association of the United States Army. 2003. p. 16.
  18. Watson, Inez (Ed.) (1953). South Carolina's Legislative Manual (34th ed.). Columbia, S.C.: General Assembly. p. 72.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  19. "Finding Aid for the Gubernatorial Papers of the Ernest F. "Fritz" Hollings Collection" (PDF). South Carolina Political Collections of the University of South Carolina. Retrieved September 14, 2009.
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  22. "South Carolina Confederate Battle Flag Removal Bill Signing Ceremony". C-SPAN. July 9, 2015.
  23. "South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley Signs Confederate Flag Bill Into Law". NPR. July 9, 2015.
  24. Address by Governor Ernest F. Hollings to the General Assembly of South Carolina, January 9, 1963, p. 8-9,, part of the University of South Carolina's Digital Collection, "Fritz Hollings: In His Own Words."
  25. Archived October 16, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  26. Hollings, Ernest (1970). The Case Against Hunger: A Demand for a National Policy. New York: Cowles Book Company, Inc. ISBN   0402126114.
  27. Robertson, Glenn (January 11, 1968). "Hollings 'Angered' by Tour of Slums." Charleston, S.C.: Evening Post.
  28. Pyatt, "The Beginning of a Rennaissance [ sic ] in Dixie?".
  29. 1 2 Pyatt, Rudolph (February 23, 1969). "The Beginning of a Rennaissance [ sic ] in Dixie". Charleston, S.C.: News and Courier.
  30. report, Staff. "Peatsy Hollings, wife of former Sen. Fritz Hollings, dies at 77". Post and Courier. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  31. Kropf, Schuyler. "Peatsy Hollings was teacher, mentor". Post and Courier. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  32. 1 2 Frum, David (2000). How We Got Here: The '70s. New York, New York: Basic Books. p. 321. ISBN   0-465-04195-7.
  33. "SENATE BARS CUT IN SCHOOL FUNDS". New York Times. February 7, 1970.
  34. "HOLLINGS ATTACKS NIXON ON DISCORD". New York Times. September 26, 1970.
  35. "Kennedy, in Visit to Carolina, Cites Calhoun But Not‐Sherman". New York Times. March 1, 1971.
  36. "KANSAS REPUBLICAN JOINS FOES OF BUTZ". New York Times. November 27, 1971.
  37. Welles, Benjamin. "Kennedy Fears New Pakistan Arms Aid". New York Times.
  38. "Senate Roll‐Call Vote Approving Marshall". January 27, 1977.
  39. Gwertzman, Bernard (February 13, 1979). "Senate Panel Balks at Letting U.S. Shift Funds to New Office in Taipei". New York Times.
  40. "Senate Votes Funds for More Refugees". New York Times. June 26, 1979.
  41. "Senators Appeal to Carter to Resist Linking Arms Treaty and Spending". New York Times. August 4, 1979.
  42. "The Citadel Archives: Hollings, Ernest, 1922".
  43. "Bill Introduced in Senate To Reinstate the Draft". New York Times. March 25, 1981.
  44. 1 2 3 "A Senator's Cannibal 'Joke' Angers Blacks". The New York Times . December 16, 1993. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  45. "Budget freezers extend the chill". Journal Tribune. March 6, 1985.
  46. "SENATE PANEL REJECTS BAN ON CHANNEL SWAPS". New York Times. May 1, 1985.
  47. "Treasury Head Defends Plan for Ending Deficit". New York Times. October 14, 1985.
  48. "Our Campaigns - US President - D Primaries Race - Feb 01, 1988".
  49. "Hollings calls for FEMA investigation". UPI. October 3, 1989.
  50. "DECISION IS URGED ON SOCIAL SECURITY". New York Times. April 24, 1990.
  51. "Senate vote authorizing military force against Iraq". UPI. January 12, 1991.
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  54. "U.S. Senate: U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 103rd Congress - 1st Session".
  55. "Main content Courthouse Renamed for Civil Rights Hero" . Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  56. Hollings, Ernest with Kirk Victor (2008). Making Government Work. Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press.
  57. "Board of Advisors webpage". Charleston School of Law. Retrieved September 1, 2009. Archived from the original on April 6, 2012.
  58. "Hollings to give school's first commencement address". Charleston School of Law. March 20, 2007. Archived from the original on February 11, 2017. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  59. "Hollings to Address First Graduation Class" (PDF). Reprint from The Citadel of an article from The State (newspaper) online. March 25, 2007.Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)[ permanent dead link ]
  60. Hicks, Brian; Kropf, Schuyler (April 6, 2019). "Former SC Governor, U.S. Senator Ernest F. 'Fritz' Hollings dies at 97". The Post and Courier . Retrieved April 6, 2019.


Party political offices
Preceded by
George Timmerman
Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina
Succeeded by
Burnet Maybank
Democratic nominee for Governor of South Carolina
Succeeded by
Donald Russell
Preceded by
Olin Johnston
Democratic nominee for Senator from South Carolina
(Class 3)

1966, 1968, 1974, 1980, 1986, 1992, 1998
Succeeded by
Inez Tenenbaum
Political offices
Preceded by
George Timmerman
Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina
Succeeded by
Burnet Maybank
Governor of South Carolina
Succeeded by
Donald Russell
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Donald Russell
United States Senator (Class 3) from South Carolina
Served alongside: Strom Thurmond, Lindsey Graham
Succeeded by
Jim DeMint
Preceded by
Edmund Muskie
Chair of Senate Budget Committee
Succeeded by
Pete Domenici
Preceded by
John Danforth
Chair of Senate Commerce Committee
Succeeded by
Larry Pressler
Preceded by
John McCain
Chair of Senate Commerce Committee
Succeeded by
John McCain
Honorary titles
Preceded by
John Glenn
Oldest Living United States Senator
(Sitting or Former)

Succeeded by
Jocelyn Burdick