Ernest Frederick "Fritz" Hollings

76th Governor of the State of South Carolina 1959 to 1963

Date Born: January 1, 1922

Date Died: Living

Place Born: Charleston, SC

Place Buried: TBD

Residence: Charleston, SC

Occupation: Lawyer, Captain in US Army


The Citadel
University of South Carolina, LL.B.: 1947

South Carolina House of Representatives: 1949-1954

Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina: 1955-1959

1958 - Hollings was elected governor without opposition, receiving 77,714 votes.

1963-1966 – After leaving office, Hollings returned to his law practice until being elected to the U.S. Senate

U.S. Senate: 1966-2004


Ernest Frederick Hollings was born on January 1, 1922 in Charleston, SC, to Adolph G. and Wilhelmine (Meyer) Hollings. He graduated from The Citadel in 1942, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree. He received an LL.B. from the University of South Carolina in 1947 after only 21 months of study, and joined a law practice in Charleston.

In 1946, Ernest Frederick Hollings married Martha Patricia Salley, and they had six children, two who died young. In 1971, he married a second time, to Rita "Peatsy" Liddy.

Hollings 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, Rhineland and Central Europe Campaigns.

In 1948, Ernest Frederick Hollings was first elected as one of eight men to represent Charleston County in the House of Representatives of the:
- 88th General Assembly that met from 1949-1950
- 89th General Assembly that met from 1951-1952 - elected Speaker Pro Tempore
- 90th General Assembly that met from 1953-1954 - elected Speaker Pro Tempore

In 1954, Ernest Frederick Hollings was elected Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina and served under Gov. George Bell Timmerman, Jr.

In 1958, at age 36, Ernest Frederick Hollings was elected as Governor of South Carolina. He 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, SC, he declared, "Today, in our complex society, education is the cornerstone upon which economic development must be built—and prosperity assured".

In 1962, during his term as Governor, the Confederate battle flag was flown above the SC Statehouse underneath the U.S. and state flags where it would remain for thirty-eight years. In 2000, the state legislature voted to move the flag from above the Statehouse to a Confederate soldiers' monument in front of the building.

Gov. 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.

Ernest Frederick Hollings sought the Democratic nomination for a seat in the U.S. Senate in 1962 but lost to incumbent Olin Dewitt Talmadge Johnston.

In the summer of 1966, Hollings defeated Donald S. 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. Strom Thurmond won his first term as a Republican at the same time that Hollings prevailed over Parker. In that same election, Democratic Gov. Robert Evander McNair defeated the Republcian nominee Joseph O. Rogers, Jr., a state representative from Manning. Hollings won the Senate seat for his first full term in 1968, when he again defeated Marshall Parker but by a much wider margin.

For thirty-six years, until January 2003, Ernest Frederick Hollings served alongside Republican Senator James Strom Thurmond, making them the longest-serving Senate duo ever. This also made Hollings the longest-serving junior senator ever, 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, and Patrick Leahy served longer in the U.S. Senate than did Hollings.

In retirement, Ernest Frederick Hollings continued to write opinion editorials for newspapers around South Carolina and is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post. His opinion editorials were also published every week in EconomyInCrisis.org, an independent protectionist news blog. In 2008, the University of South Carolina Press published Making Government Work, a book authored by Hollings with Washington, DC, journalist Kirk Victor, imparting Hollings' view on the changes needed in Washington. Among other things, the book recommends a dramatic decrease in the amount of campaign spending. It also attacks free trade policies as inherently destructive, suggesting that certain protectionist measures have built the United States, and only a few parties actually benefit from free trade, such as large manufacturing corporations.

Ernest Frederick Hollings started the Hollings Scholarship in 2005. This scholarship gives over 100 undergraduates from around the country a 10-week internship with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 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 on the Board of Advisors of the Charleston School of Law and was a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law there. He delivered the commencement address to the first graduating class there on May 19, 2007.


Ernest Frederick "Fritz" Hollings, a U.S. Senator from South Carolina; born in Charleston, SC on January 1, 1922; attended the public schools of Charleston; graduated from The Citadel in 1942 and University of South Carolina Law School in 1947; admitted to the SC bar in 1947 and commenced law practice in Charleston; served in the U.S. Army 1942-1945; elected to the SC House of Representatives in 1948, 1950, and 1952; Speaker Pro Tempore, SC House of Representatives; elected Lieutenant Governor of SC in 1954; elected Governor of SC in 1958, serving from 1959 to 1963; presidential appointee to several federal commissions; elected in a special election on November 8, 1966, as a Democrat to the U.S. Senate to complete the unexpired term of Olin Dewitt Talmadge Johnston; re-elected in 1968, 1974, 1980, 1986, 1992 and 1998 and served from November 9, 1966, to January 3, 2005; chair, Committee on the Budget (96th U.S. Congress), Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation (100th through 103rd U.S. Congresses; 107th Congress [January 3-20, 2001; June 6, 2001-January 3, 2003]); unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the U.S. in 1984; was not a candidate for re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2004.

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