John Jenrette was a member of the United States House of Representatives from the State of South Carolina. A Democrat, he represented the 6th District of South Carolina. At the time, the District was based in the Myrtle Beach region.

Jenrette had been seen as something of a rising star in the Democratic Party. He was essentially immediately given a place among the leadership in the House of Representatives. But he would be best-known for scandal.

Passed away on Saint Patrick's Day of 2023

The Washington Post and ABC report that John Jenrette has died.

He was 86. A cause of death was not immediately made clear to the public. But Jenrette has evidently been in a state of declining health for some time.

James Clyburn, the current representative from the 6th District, was among those to mark Jenrette's passing. Also a Democrat, Clyburn is a former House majority whip. He praised Jenrette's "style and wit" while also seeming to allude to his less savory connections.

Jenrette was among seven members of Congress to be convicted as a result of the FBI's "Abscam" sting operation. Several other public figures would also become embroiled in the investigation. The figures in question were caught taking bribes and other acts of public corruption. Abscam was the inspiration for the 2013 Best Picture nominee "American Hustle".

In Jenrette's case, the evidence was decidedly irrefutable. He was approached by someone who unbeknownst to him was an FBI agent that offered him a bribe. Jenrette seemed eager to jump at the chance. Even at one point declaring "I've got larceny in my blood." Jenrette later claimed that he was inebriated at the time.

Even in the midst of the fervor, Jenrette remained the Democratic nominee for his seat in 1980.

Not surprisingly, though, he would lose his bid for re-election. Republican attorney and retired U.S. Army officer John Light Napier instead emerged victorious. Jenrette ultimately resigned his seat after the election before his term was up.

John Jenrette would be sentenced to two years in prison for his behavior. He eventually ended up serving a little over half of that sentence.

Jenrette was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1974. He defeated Republican incumbent Edward Lunn Young. Young had defeated Jenrette for the seat in 1972. Jenrette defeated longtime and controversial incumbent John L. McMillan in the Democratic primary. McMillain was the chairman of the House Committee on the District of Columbia at the time. Jenrette was re-elected on two occasions afterward.

Was a star athlete

John Jenrette was a native of Conway, South Carolina. He later graduated from high school in nearby Loris. There, he was a star athlete in three sports. Jenrette would receive a partial athletic scholarship to attend Wofford College.

Jenrette would also serve as an officer in the United States Army.

He obtained a degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. Shortly after opening an office in what is now North Myrtle Beach.

Jenrette served as city judge and as city attorney of North Myrtle Beach. Before being elected to Congress, he was elected to four terms in the South Carolina House of Representatives.