Former Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah died at 88 on Saturday, according to a press release from his foundation.
Mr. Hatch was the longest-serving U.S. senator ever to represent Utah, serving for 42 years from 1977 to 2019. He also served as Senate president pro tempore during his time in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Hatch also served as the chairman emeritus of the Hatch Foundation, an organization aimed at promoting civic engagement and political discourse.
“A man of wisdom, kindness, character, and compassion, Orrin G. Hatch was everything a United States Senator should be,” said A. Scott Anderson, chairman of the Hatch Foundation, in an interview with CNN. “He exemplified a generation of lawmakers brought up on the principles of comity and compromise, and he embodied those principles better than anyone. In a nation divided, Orrin Hatch helped show us a better way by forging meaningful friendships on both sides of the aisle.”
Mr. Hatch served in the Senate through the administrations of seven U.S. Presidents and nine Senate Majority Leaders, chairing the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee, Judiciary Committee and Finance Committee.
“This breaks my heart,” Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, a Republican, said of Mr. Hatch’s death in a tweet. “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.”