Orrin Hatch dead at 88 – longest-serving senator in Utah dies after 42-year career under seven presidents

ORRIN Hatch, the longest-serving senator in Utah history, dies at age 88 after a 42-year career serving under seven different presidents.

Hatch passed away Saturday afternoon surrounded by his family, according to the Hatch Foundation.


“Senator Orrin G. Hatch personified the American Dream,” said Executive Director of the Hatch Foundation, Matt Sandgren.

“Born the son of a carpenter and plaster lather, he overcame the poverty of his youth to become a United States Senator. With the hardships of his upbringing always fresh in his mind, he made it his life’s mission to expand freedom and opportunity for others—and the results speak for themselves.

"From tax and trade to religious liberty and healthcare, few legislators have had a greater impact on American life than Orrin Hatch. He was a profoundly positive influence in the lives of those he served, whether they were the constituents he helped over four decades of casework, the hundreds of interns he sponsored in both Utah and DC, or the robust network of Hatch staffers who carry on his legacy to this day.

"Senator Hatch touched the hearts of countless individuals, and I know I speak for all of them when I say he will be dearly missed.” 

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Hatch was born in Pennsylvania in 1934. One of nine children, Hatch was significantly impacted by the death of his older brother, Jesse, who lost his life serving in World War II.

In the 1950s, Hatch made his way to Brigham Young University, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in history. He then went on to attend the University of Pittsburgh Law School on a full scholarship.

Hatch also served on a mission for the two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the mid-1950s. He moved to Utah in 1969.

Throughout his career, Hatch was a sponsor or cosponsor or more than 750 bills that became law.

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He served in a variety of leadership positions within the Senate, and has the distinction of having served as Chairman of three major Senate Committees.

For 32 of his 42 years in Congress, Hatch served as either a Chairman or Ranking Member of a major committee.

He is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, awarded to him by Former President Donald Trump.

Upon retiring in 2019, Hatch began the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation, which focuses on civility and solutions by encouraging civic participation, bipartisan dialogue, and commonsense solutions to the important issues facing our nation.

Hatch is survived by his wife, Elaine, and their six children.

More to follow…

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