Hatch has carried the torch of his great-grandfather’s frontiersman spirit all his life, from his working-class upbringing in Pittsburgh to a successful Utah law practice, and eventually to representing the Beehive State in Washington.
Hatch reached his full height of 6’2” his junior year of high school. His height gave him considerable advantage on his school’s basketball team – but he weighed only 118 pounds. Despite his scrawny build, Hatch became a scrappy boxer and came to pack a jarring punch for a youngster his size. Hatch balanced his athletic pursuits with scholarly discipline and a passion for music. He learned to play the piano, organ, and violin. While in high school, Hatch was elected to the student Senate, and later as student body president.
As a young man, Hatch learned the value of hard work as a metal lather and a card-carrying member of the AFL-CIO. As a student, he struggled to provide for a growing family as a janitor, lather, and all-night desk attendant in a dormitory. He earned a bachelor’s in history from Brigham Young University and a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh.
In 1954, Hatch served a mission for his church to the Great Lakes . After returning, he married Elaine Hansen of Newton, Utah , on August 28, 1957. The two had met in an astronomy class at BYU thanks to an alphabetical seating chart. The two have six children and a growing brood of grand- and great-grandchildren, sometimes called “Hatchlings.”