Former Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah died Saturday evening at the age of 88, according to a press release by his foundation.
Hatch, a former president pro tempore of the U.S. Senate and the longest serving senator in Utah history, served 42 years in Congress under seven different presidents before retiring in January 2019. He finished as the ninth-longest-serving Senator in American history and helped pass over 750 pieces of legislation into law, more than any other living member of Congress, 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).
To learn more about his incredible life, click here:https://t.co/XFOMEYbe2l pic.twitter.com/dCGa7ew11f
— Orrin G. Hatch Foundation (@OrrinHatch) April 24, 2022
The Foundation released a statement Saturday evening claiming the former Senator died at 5:30pm in Salt Lake City, Utah, surrounded by family.
Sad to learn of the passing of my friend Orrin Hatch /I worked closely w Senator Hatch for 40yrs on the judic cmte +20 yrs on Finance cmte we had a very good friendship he has contributed so much to public policy& for the ppl of Utah Barbara & I send our sympathies to his family
— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) April 24, 2022
A truly great man and public servant. This was very sad news. Orrin Hatch, longtime Utah Republican senator, dead at 88https://t.co/ZK1lHfNVoE
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) April 24, 2022
Devastated to learn of the loss of Sen. Orrin Hatch. He was a cherished friend. I met my husband while he worked for the Senator. We will miss him dearly. He was a statesman that represented the best our country has to offer. Please pray for his family.https://t.co/pZus9vK9nP
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) April 24, 2022
RIP Senator Orrin Hatch, a truly great American. pic.twitter.com/JoGEKi94w2
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) April 24, 2022
“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 … 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.”
The Pennsylvania-born Hatch worked his way through Brigham Young University (BYU) before serving a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ohio and Indiana, according to the release. He went on to graduate BYU and later obtain a law degree on full scholarship from the University of Pittsburgh Law School in 1962.
Hatch moved to Utah in 1969 and successfully ran for public office in 1976, the release continued.
Some of the most well-known pieces of legislation he authored or coauthored include the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Former President Ronald Reagan nicknamed Hatch, “Mr. Balanced Budget” due to his reputation for fiscal responsibility. (RELATED: Hatch Receives Medal Of Freedom From Trump).
Hatch is survived by his wife Elaine and six children, according to the New York Post.