Orrin Hatch, the longest-serving Republican senator in the United States, dies at the age of 88

Former Utah Senator Orrin G. Hatch died on April 23, 2022 in Salt Lake City, Utah, surrounded by family. He turned 88 years old.

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Orrin G. Hatch, the longtime Republican senator from Utah, died Saturday in Salt Lake City at the age of 88, the Hatch Foundation announced.

Hatch, who retired in 2019 at the end of his last term, served in the Senate for 42 years, making him the longest-serving Republican U.S. senator.

“Senator Orrin G. Hatch personified the American dream,” Matt Sandgren, executive director of the Hatch Foundation, said in a statement. “Born as the son of a carpenter and plasterer, he overcame the poverty of his youth to become a U.S. senator.”

Hatch was also the longest-serving U.S. senator in Utah history. He was first elected in 1976 and announced his retirement in January 2018.

He referred to his past as an amateur boxer when he came up with the ad and said in a video, “Every good fighter knows when to hang up his gloves. And for me, that time is approaching soon.”

Hatch was born in Homestead Park, Pennsylvania, in 1934.

Growing up in what he calls “a dilapidated house” during the Great Depression, Hatch continued to chair three different Senate committees, making his mark on important pieces of legislation across the policy spectrum.

Hatch graduated from Brigham Young University in 1959 with a bachelor’s degree in history and moved to Utah in 1969.

He leaves behind his wife, Elaine, and their six children. Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date, the Hatch Foundation said.

Utah Governor Spencer Cox tweeted that “Utah mourns with the Hatch family.”

“This breaks my heart. Abby and I are so grateful for the opportunities we had to spend time with this incredible public servant. He was always so kind and generous with his time and wisdom,” wrote Cox, a Republican.

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