Former Sen. Orrin Hatch Dies At 88

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Former Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who served as the president pro-tempore of the United States Senate from 2015 to 2019, died at 88 years old in Salt Lake City, the Hatch Foundation announced in a press release Saturday evening.


As he served in the Senate for 42 years, he was the sixth longest-serving member in the history of the legislative body. Obviously, the country has changed a lot since he was sworn in in 1977, but he was along for the ride fighting for conservatism nonetheless. 

Outside of politics, Hatch had a wife and six children and was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Conservatives on Twitter mourned the loss of the retired senator, including those who were privileged enough to work with him directly.

“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 [sic] Barbara & I send our sympathies to his family,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who served alongside Hatch since 1981, tweeted.

“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,” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tweeted.


While some shared serious stories, others shared humorous anecdotes.

“My first trip to DC was for a college journalism conference. Toured Capitol Hill w/ my college bros, who were talking about sports, cars, cute girls. I pointed, ‘Hey look, that’s Orrin Hatch!’ They looked at me in silence for quite a while. Then said, ‘What is WRONG with you?'” Richochet Editor-In-Chief Jon Gabriel quipped.

Political giants like Hatch made an impact on many lives over the years, and it goes without saying that his death is met with jeers that are unworthy of publication from his ideological opposites. The mentality that goes into wishing death upon fellow countrymen should be avoided at all costs, as respect has become a thing of the past for many.


Internet trolls aside, Hatch’s passing serves as another reminder that figures of the Greatest Generation made a significant impact on the U.S., and many still continue to do so. For those who are younger, it’s important to take their wisdom and stories into account, as the last quarter of the 20th century was considered a more civil time in political discourse.

Hatch will undoubtedly be remembered for his contributions to the Republican Party and the conservative movement for years to come.


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