NORTH MYRTLE BEACH (AP) ó Former South Carolina legislator Dick Elliott, who represented coastal Horry County and the Pee Dee for 30 years in the Statehouse, is dead at age 78.

Funeral director Allen Lee said on Sunday that Elliott died on Saturday after a lengthy illness at McLeod Regional Hospital in Florence. The senatorís son, Rick Elliott, said he died of multi-system organ failure.

Elliott served 30 years in the state House and Senate before retiring in 2012. The Democrat was first elected to the South Carolina House in 1982 and served 10 years in that chamber before being elected to the Senate. He also previously served on North Myrtle Beach City Council and Horry County Council.

Prior to entering state politics, Elliott started a coastal realty company and two golf clubs.