Orrin Hatch was born on 22 March 1934 in Homestead Park, Pennsylvania. He is the great-grandson of Jeremiah Hatch, who founded what is now Vernal, Utah. He is married to the former Elaine Hansen of Newton, Utah, and they have six children.
Hatch received a B.S. degree in history from Brigham Young University in 1959. He earned a Juris Doctor degree in 1962 from the University of Pittsburgh Law School. During his school years, Hatch worked at the metal lathing building trade and was a member of the AFL-CIO. He holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Maryland.
After becoming a member of the bar in Pennsylvania and in Utah in 1962, Hatch was a partner in the firm of Thomson, Rhodes and Grigsby in Pittsburgh from 1962 to 1969. He moved to Utah in 1969, and in 1976 he became a senior partner with the law firm of Hatch and Plumb in Salt Lake City.
Hatch entered politics as a Republican and was elected to the U.S. Senate on 2 November 1976. He was reelected in 1982 and again in 1988. Senator Hatch is ranking minority member of the Labor and Human Resources Committee. He is also a member of the Judiciary Committee, where he takes an active part in the confirmation of all judicial nominations. His initiatives have included constitutional amendments for silent prayer in school and for a balanced budget. He is widely known as a conservative in most political matters--a position that has kept him popular in late twentieth-century Utah.
In the field of foreign affairs, Senator Hatch is active in many committees. He is a member of the Finance Committee, and he has been appointed to the Senate Select Committee investigating the Iran arms deal. Hatch is also a member of the Governing Board of the Office Technology Assessment, as well as a member of the Senate Caucus on Tourism, Senate Caucus on Terrorism, Caucus on Steel, and Caucus on Copper. He is a delegate to the International Labor Organization.
Hatch holds membership in numerous professional and fraternal organizations. He is on the board of directors of Ballet West. He is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and has served as bishop. He is the author of many pieces of writing and contributes to newspapers and professional journals.