Mayor John J. Tecklenburg released the following statement today regarding the death of Lowcountry author Pat Conroy:
"In December of 1950, when Pat Conroy was only five years old, the great Southern writer William Faulkner offered the following advice to aspiring authors. The only writing, he told them, that was worth the agony and sweat of creation was that which spoke to "the old verities and truths of the heart, the old universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed - love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice."
In the years since, few authors have lived out the full meaning of that simple writers' creed with as much passion and courage as Pat Conroy. And fewer still have touched our lives and our hearts so deeply as a result.
I've had the privilege of being acquainted with Pat Conroy for most of my adult life, but like so many others, I felt I knew him best through his work. Pat was the great chronicler of the time and place that I call home. He saw it with clarity. He wrote of it with purpose. And he loved it as so many of us do -- warts and all, and without reservation.
So, yes, it is with real sadness that we say goodbye today to Pat Conroy. But, as in his work, the weight of that sadness is lightened by the humor and grace of the voice we all came to know so well. And by the happy thought that somewhere, a young man or woman is right now discovering one of Pat's books for the first time -- and, with it, a new-found love of literature and a lifelong friend."