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Hundreds expected at funeral for late Sen. Hugh Leatherman

Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 5:00 AM EST
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FLORENCE, S.C. (WCSC/AP) - Hundreds are expected to gather Friday for the funeral of state Sen. Hugh Leatherman.

Long South Carolina’s oldest and most powerful state lawmaker, Leatherman died earlier this month at age 90.

His office announced his funeral will be held Friday at 3 p.m. at the Francis Marion Performing Arts Center in Florence.

His family will host a reception immediately after an afternoon service on the grounds of the Francis Marion Performing Arts Center in Florence.

Leatherman died Nov. 12, weeks after he entered hospice care following the diagnosis of an inoperable cancer.

He had represented the Florence area in the state Senate for 40 years and held the powerful post of Senate Finance Committee chairman. Leatherman had just been reelected last year.

Gov. Henry McMaster has ordered flags atop the state capitol be lowered to half-staff from sunrise until sunset on Friday “in recognition of his extraordinary legacy of selfless statesmanship and his lifetime of distinguished service to the state of South Carolina.”

McMaster called Leatherman “a powerful force for the progress and prosperity of our people” and said Leatherman “poured his life into our state and we are the better for it.”

The South Carolina Ports Authority opened the Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal in March along the Cooper River in North Charleston. It was the country’s first container terminal to open in more than a decade. The South Carolina Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers named the project South Carolina’s Project of the Year in June.

He was also credited with attracting major companies to South Carolina, including Boeing and Honda.

Sen. Darrell Jackson, (D - Richland County), said Leatherman’s support during his campaign to bring the South Carolina African-American History Monument to State House Grounds was critical to the monument’s dedication in 2001.

The Francis Marion Performing Arts Center is located at 201 South Dargan Street in Florence.

A special election to fill the remaining years of his term is scheduled for March 29.

Copyright 2021 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.