“America has lost a one of a kind statesman. Fritz Hollings was an astute politician who was motivated by service. He was truly devoted to advancing the cause of our democracy and bettering the lives all Americans.

“I have been reflecting on the legacy of my friend Fritz Hollings in recent days as I studied the work he did on hunger and poverty. This year marks the 50th anniversary of his Hunger Tour, in which I was proud to play a small part. In January 1969, Sister Mary Anthony and I accompanied Fritz on a tour of an impoverished area of Charleston so he could see the plight of families who had been ignored by the government for too long. The conditions Fritz saw in Charleston and around the state impacted him so deeply that he challenged this country to change the distribution of food stamps and initiate the Women, Infants, and Children nutrition program. His actions provided hope and healing in communities in desperate need.

“He was a man with courage and conviction, who began his career protecting the status quo but changed as he learned and grew. In requesting the removal of his name from the federal courthouse in Charleston so it could bear the name of Judge Waites Waring, Fritz demonstrated that his service was not about himself but about creating an America that strives to be a more perfect union.

“Known for disarming his fiercest critics with his sharp wit and strong intellect, he was an effective leader who sought allies of either party who were willing to help to advance his agenda. His brand of legislating is truly missed in the halls of the Capitol today.

“Emily and I send our deepest condolences to the Hollings family, but we are strengthened by knowing that Fritz and his beloved wife, Peatsy, are now reunited. It was a blessed experience to call him a friend and colleague.”