Fred P. Brinkman - Coastal Carolina University
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Fred P. Brinkman

Fred P. Brinkman led South Carolina's tourism industry to international importance during his career.

Born in Overland, Mo. in 1925, Brinkman served in the United States Navy in World War II and received the United States Citation and Commendation for Excellent Service under Enemy Gunfire during the Battle of Iwo Jima. He earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Florida State University in 1953.

Brinkman began his career as the manager of the Quincy, Fl. Chamber of Commerce in 1953. He twice served as director of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, from 1956 to 1964 and again from 1970 to 1973. From 1973 until his retirement in 1991, Brinkman was executive director of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, the state's tourism promotion agency and became the agency's longest serving director. Under his leadership, PRT developed tourism-related education program in collaboration with many of South Carolina's higher education institutions and began offering scholarships to students preparing for careers in the tourism industry. When he retired, the South Carolina Travel and Tourism Forum created the Fred Brinkman Award to recognize lifetime achievements in the state's tourism industry.

Brinkman was presented with the Order of the Palmetto, the state's highest civilian honor, by Governor Carroll A. Campbell Jr. in 1992. He received the Southeast Tourism Society's Shining Example Award in 1994.

Brinkman died on May 14, 1997.

Brinkman received the honorary degree Doctor of Public Service from Coastal Carolina University during the May 1997 commencement ceremony.