Fat Harold’s co-owner dies Friday afternoon

he co-owner of iconic North Myrtle Beach nightspot Fat Harold’s Beach Club and one of two men responsible for the shag being named the state dance of South Carolina died at 2 p.m. Friday, his business partner said.

Harold Bessent, 82, died after a long period of declining health, said Harold Worley, who co-founded the club with Bessent in the 1980s.

“He was a real humanitarian,” Worley said. “He never met a stranger.”

Bessent was a quiet, but significant contributor to Camp Kemo, a facility for children with terminal cancer, near Columbia, said Shannon Briggs, the North Myrtle Beach Club’s manager for 18 years.