SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Tragedy has struck Utah. Senator Orrin G. Hatch, the Chairman Emeritus of the Hatch Foundation, former President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate, and longest-serving Senator in Utah history, died on April 23 at 5:30 p.m. in Salt Lake City surrounded by family. 

According to representatives of the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation, Hatch moved to Utah in 1969 after serving as a trial lawyer for several years in Pittsburgh. Once in Utah, he made himself known as a trial lawyer by representing individuals in need, many of whom couldn’t afford his services.

Hatch filed to run for the United States Senate on May 10, 1976, against three-term Democratic Senator Frank Moss, who he surpassed. 

Hatch retired from the Senate in January of 2019, when he began to devote his time to building the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation. The organization serves as a national policy brain trust that aims to foster civic participation, bipartisan dialogue, and commonsense solutions to the nation’s most strenuous issues. 

During his time in the Senate chair, a 42-year-long stint, Hatch served alongside seven Presidents and nine Senate Majority Leaders. Hatch earned the title as the ninth-longest-serving U.S. Senator in American history by the end of his term in January of 2019. 

Throughout his time in the Senate, Hatch passed more bills into law than any other Senator alive. In total, he sponsored or cosponsored over 750 bills that eventually became law. 

Senator Hatch was one of the only Senators in history who served as Chairman of three major Senate Committees, including the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee (1981-1987), the Senate Judiciary Committee (1995-2001, 2001, 2003-2005), and the Senate Finance Committee (2015-2019). During his time as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Hatch was deemed “Mr. Balanced Budget” by President Regan for his exceptional record of fiscal responsibility. 

After learning of Senator Hatch’s passing, Governor Spencer Cox took to Twitter to express his condolences, saying, “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.”