Orrin Hatch, Utah’s longest-serving senator, dies at age 88
Apr 23, 2022, 6:33 PM | Updated: Jun 20, 2022, 1:48 pm
SALT LAKE CITY — The longest-serving senator in Utah history, Orrin G. Hatch, has died at the age of 88, according to the Orrin G. Hatch 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).
— Orrin G. Hatch Foundation (@OrrinHatch) April 24, 2022
According to the press release, Hatch passed away at 5:30 p.m. Saturday in Salt Lake City, with his family.
Hatch represented Utah in the Senate for 42 years, according to his website. He ended his last term in the Senate on Jan. 19, 2019, as the sixth-longest serving senator in U.S. history.
Hatch served during the administrations of seven presidents — four Republicans and three Democrats — and alongside nine Senate majority leaders — four Democrats and five Republicans.
He began his Senate tenure in 1977 as a member of the 95th Congress. Vice President Nelson Rockefeller swore in Hatch.
“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.”
The First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement on Twitter that said in part: “Senator Hatch’s tireless efforts on behalf of his country have benefitted countless lives and his strength in promoting religious freedom will be a blessing to all people of faith for generations to come.”
The First Presidency has released the following statement following the passing of Latter-day Saint and former Utah Senator Orrin G. Hatch.
— The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (@Ch_JesusChrist) April 24, 2022
Multiple Utah government officials have expressed their condolences through social media.
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. Utah mourns with the Hatch family. https://t.co/TK22cmOjpU
— Spencer Cox (@SpencerJCox) April 24, 2022
May his family and loved ones feel peace and love during this time. #utpol
— Speaker Brad Wilson (@BradWilsonGOP) April 24, 2022
Orrin Hatch was a close personal friend and mentor who I – and so many others – will miss dearly. His service to our state and country was unmatched, and for that we will be forever grateful.
God bless you, Senator Hatch.
— Rep. Chris Stewart (@RepChrisStewart) April 24, 2022
I have known Orrin Hatch since 1967. He was a great man and a great Senator who represented Utah and America extremely well for 42 years. He was one of the great ones. He will be missed. Jeanette and I offer our condolences to Elaine and the entire family at this tender time. pic.twitter.com/gromCfV8ym
— Gary R. Herbert (@GovHerbert) April 24, 2022
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) April 24, 2022
Rest in peace, Senator Hatch. Thank you for your many years of service to the great state of Utah. I pray the Hatch family is comforted at this time. https://t.co/3UFSfCCo4I
— Burgess Owens (@BurgessOwens) April 24, 2022
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) April 24, 2022
Other officials have sent statements to KSL TV, including the 45th President of the United States of America, Donald Trump.
“I want to extend my deepest condolences to the family of the great Senator Orrin Hatch, his wife Elaine, and his six children. Orrin was a true warrior for our Country, for liberty, and for his beloved state of Utah. He was as wise as he was kind, and as tough as he was smart—he loved America and his contributions to our Country were tremendous. His legacy will surely live on through the many lives he impacted. May God bless Orrin Hatch.” – 45th President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump
“Sen. Orrin Hatch was a titan for Utah and our country. I am deeply saddened to learn of his passing. He valued building consensus over political combat, devoting time and energy to work together to provide answers that would better our state. Sen. Hatch played an indispensable role in passing some of the most significant bipartisan achievements in recent history and was a passionate defender of religious liberty. He has done immeasurable good for our state and lived an amazing life. Today Utah lost an exemplary leader. My prayers are with his family during this time of grieving.” – Utah State Senate, President J. Stuart Adams
“Having run against Orrin Hatch twice for the U.S. Senate, I always appreciated the candor and respect we had for each other. Orrin was a tough competitor and a very talented politician.
My deepest condolences to his wonderful wife Elaine and family at this very tender time.
Rest In Peace Senator.” – Scott N. Howell; Former Utah State Senate Minority Leader and Candidate for the U.S. Senate
Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber also posted a statement on Twitter.
"Senator Hatch will not only be remembered as a Giant in our City, but as a Giant in our state and nation.”
— Salt Lake Chamber (@saltlakechamber) April 24, 2022
Gail Miller and Kim Wilson released the following statement Saturday night.
Senator Hatch, a dear friend, was an incredible leader who exemplified the principles of bi-partisanship, civility and respect. He represented not only his constituents, but our nation, as he helped to defend our precious constitution and reshape our federal judicial bench. He fought for freedom and worked tirelessly to ensure future generations would benefit from legislation that would reform taxes, improve health care, and promote technology and innovation, among many other issues. We will dearly miss our association with Senator Hatch and send our our love and prayers to his family.
Senator Hatch is survived by his wife, Elaine, and their six children. Info on funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date according to the press release.