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Orrin Hatch, longtime Utah Republican senator, dead at 88

Orrin Hatch, longtime Utah Republican senator, dead at 88

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Former Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch has died at the age of 88, according to a release from his foundation. 

“The Hatch Foundation sadly announces the passing of Senator Orrin G. Hatch—the former President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate and the longest-serving Senator in Utah history (1977-2019),” the Hatch Foundation tweeted on Saturday night.

Feb. 2, 2011: Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Hatch was the longest serving senator in Utah history when he retired after serving 42 years in Congress.

Hatch’s foundation said in the press release that Hatch passed away at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday in Salt Lake City, Utah surrounded by his family.

Robert Garff, left, greets U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, during the UTGOP election night party in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. 
((Ravell Call/The Deseret News via AP))

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

Sandgren continued, “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.” 

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

Darshan Shah
the authorDarshan Shah