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City of Charleston News Flash

Posted on: April 6, 2019

Mayor Tecklenburg on the Passing of Ernest F. "Fritz" Hollings

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg released the following statement, on the passing of former SC governor and U.S. Senator Ernest F. “Fritz” Hollings:

Fritz Hollings was truly a man in full – a history-making governor, a titan of the US Senate, and a peerless friend to all who were fortunate enough to know him. Our state and nation have lost a real giant.

It’s been my great honor to know Fritz Hollings all my life. My grandfather helped Fritz with his first Statehouse race in 1948. My father continued that work on later campaigns. And when, fifty years after his first election, Fritz asked me to help with his final Senate race in 1998, I was happy to carry on that family tradition. As I’ve said before, Fritz made so much history over so many years, it took three generations of Tecklenburgs to support just one generation of Hollings.

But there was another side to Fritz, a private side, and that’s the one I find myself thinking most about today. For Fritz wasn’t just a distinguished governor and senator -- he was also the leading man in one of the great romances of our age.

For more than forty years, Fritz and Peatsy Hollings loved each other completely and without reservation. Separately, they were smart and funny and formidable; together, they were magic. And when it became clear that Peatsy would be the first to move from this world to the next, Fritz responded with a manner and measure of tenderness that surprised even those who knew him best, and that none who witnessed it will ever forget.

Which is why, as sad as this day is, we can all take comfort in the fact that Fritz and Peatsy are back where they belong -- together, sharing a laugh, and making their own special kind of magic forever.
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