Ernest “Fritz” Hollings, the former senator from South Carolina, has died, according to a statement from his three children.
The former senator died early Saturday morning at 97 of natural causes. Hollings was a part of South Carolina politics for many decades serving both as governor of the state beginning in 1958 as well as 38 years as a US senator starting in 1966. He is credited with creating the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, making port security stronger and helping to improve airport security following the September 11 terrorist attacks. He made a brief run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 but quickly got out.