Former Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway dies at 79

Biloxi, UNITED STATES: US President George W. Bush (L) walks with Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway (R) just a few blocks off the Gulf of Mexico 28 August 2006 in Biloxi, Mississippi. Bush, whose approval ratings have yet to recover from Katrina's aftermath, opened a two-day visit to Mississippi and New Orleans to meet with local officials and see areas that still bear scars from the killer hurricane. AFP PHOTO / TIM SLOAN (Photo credit should read TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

BILOXI – Longtime Biloxi mayor A.J. Holloway has passed away at 79.

Holloway served as mayor for 22 years, from the early days of casino gambling in Biloxi through Hurricane Katrina.

“He was a force,” Current Biloxi mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich said. “He was always in it, and that smile was infectious.”

A Biloxi native, Holloway attended Biloxi High School before going on to play football at the University of Mississippi.

“He was a legend,” Gilich said. “One of my first memories was playing football with his brother Donnie. I remember like it was yesterday. I thought ‘I’m playing football with A.J. Holloway’s brother. Then there was that ballgame with Gulfport. The whole town was like ‘All the Way Holloway.’ He was a legend in so many ways.”