The longtime senator in Utah, Orrin Hatch, dies at the age of 88

Orrin G. Hatch, who became the longest-serving Republican senator in history when he represented Utah for more than four decades, died Saturday at the age of 88.

His death was announced in a statement from his foundation, which did not specify a cause. He launched the Hatch Foundation when he retired in 2019 and was replaced by Mitt Romney.

He was conservative on most economic and social issues, but nonetheless teamed up with Democrats several times during his long career on topics ranging from stem cell research to the rights of people with disabilities to expanding children’s health insurance. He also formed friendships across the hall, especially with the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

He also advocated for GOP issues such as abortion limits and helped shape the U.S. Supreme Court, including defending Clarence Thomas against allegations of sexual harassment during confirmation hearings.

Towards the end of his career, he also helped carry out a federal tax audit and pushed for President Donald Trump to reduce two national monuments in Utah when he called for a return to an era of political courtesy. He became an ally of Trump.

He also became known for his side career as a singer and record artist with themes from his religious faith, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He leaves behind his wife, Elaine, and their six children.

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