COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WSPA) — A former chair of the Democratic National Committee and mainstay of South Carolina and national politics for decades has died. Don Fowler was 85.
South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Trav Robertson said on Twitter that Fowler died Tuesday night.
Fowler’s wife said on Facebook that he had been in the hospital this week.
Fowler led the state party from 1971 to 1980, oversaw the 1988 Democratic National Convention and served as national chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1995 to 1997.
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn issued the following statement on Fowler’s passing:
“The heart of the South Carolina Democratic Party for a long time has stopped beating. Politics coursed through my dear friend Don Fowler’s veins. Although he has passed on, his legacy remains strong in the beloved Democratic Party he helped build and sustain.
“Don and I met as young Democrats back in 1969, and we became friends. It was in Don’s home that Emily and I first met a young Joe Biden soon after his first reelected to the United States Senate. Don was always the connector, the one bringing political friends and, sometimes, enemies together. His Southern charm and gentle spirit belied his fierce competitiveness and strength of character. I was often a guest lecturer in his master class on politics at the University of South Carolina and an attentive listener to his lectures on politics outside of the classroom.
“My thoughts and prayers are with Carol and their children and grandchildren. It is my sincere hope that they draw comfort from knowing that so many are joining them in celebrating Don’s life and are already missing his presence among us.”Congressman Jim Clyburn