Overcoming Adversity: Senator Orrin G. Hatch Story
United States Senator (R-Utah)

By: Howard Edward Haller, Ph. D.

The article give an insight into the groundbreaking proven research into how to Overcome Adversity and how to Turn Adversity into Opportunities by Howard Edward Haller, Ph.D, This overcoming adversity and leadership research has received extensive endorsements and enthusiastic reviews from well-known prominent business, political, and academic leaders and leading scholars who either participated in the study or reviewed the research findings.

You will discover the proven success habits and secrets of people who, in spite of adversity, discrimination, abuse, or difficult or life threatening challenges shaped their own destiny to become successful, effective leaders. The full results of this groundbreaking research into Overcoming Adversity are presented in Howard Edward Haller, Ph.D.'s book, "Leadership and Adversity: The Shaping of Prominent Leaders," published November 2008, by VDM Verlag Dr Müller AG & CoKG.
The nine initial prominent successful leaders who overcame adversity were: Dr. Tony Bonanzino, U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch, Monzer Hourani, U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye, Dr. John Malone, Larry Pino, U.S. Army Major General Sid Shachnow, Dr. Blenda Wilson, and Zig Ziglar.

The data from the above nine research participants was materially augmented by seven other successful individuals who overcame adversity including: Jack Canfield, William Draper III, Mark Victor Hansen, J. Terrence Lanni, Angelo Mozilo, Dr. Nido Qubein, and Dr. John Sperling. Additionally, five internationally known and highly respected Best-Selling scholars offered their reviews of my research findings including: Dr. Ken Blanchard, Dr. John Kotter, Professor James Kouzes, Dr. Paul Stoltz, and Dr. Meg Wheatley.

This is a short biography of one of the principal participants who generously contributed his time and insight for this important research into the phenomenon of how prominent successful individuals overcame adversity and obstacles.

This Senator Orrin Hatch’s story of Overcoming Adversity:
Orrin Hatch is the surviving son of a lower middle-class Mormon pioneer family from Utah. During the Depression, his family, though penniless, moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Orrin’s older brother was killed in Europe while serving in the Army Air Corps in World War II. Orrin noted, “I was always someone who was kind of strange to them, in that sense, but they still liked me, because I was a good student, and a good athlete. But there were things I just wouldn’t do.” Orrin and his family belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more commonly known as “Mormons,” which was a relative rarity in Pittsburgh at that time. “I had to prove myself, always being kind of a ‘square.’ I had to set certain things aside, because of my religious beliefs. I never drank, I never smoked, I never caroused, [and] I never committed sexual sin.”

Orrin said, “My parents scraped together a little money, bought a wooded acre of land, and then purchased secondhand materials, including partially burned lumber . . . and built their home, board by board with their own two hands.” His father was a “union-card carrying” wood lather. Orrin learned his father’s trade and worked as a wood lather while still in high school. Later, Orrin worked his way “through Brigham Young University as a janitor.” He interrupted his education at BYU to serve a two-year unpaid mission for the Mormon Church. He then returned to BYU, got married, graduated, and returned to Pittsburgh to work at his union construction job. He got a scholarship to the University of Pittsburgh, College of Law, and worked his way through law school while providing for his growing family. When Orrin was in law school, he said that he and his “wife and children literally lived in a converted chicken coop” behind his parents’ home.

Hatch and his young family returned to his parents’ home state of Utah so that Orrin could accept a corporate legal position. Shortly after arriving in Utah, Orrin left that corporate job and opened a law firm in Salt Lake City, Utah, as the senior partner. Although he had absolutely no political experience, Hatch decided to pursue the Republican Party nomination for the United States Senate race in 1976. He was up against an experienced Republican politician. Hatch won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senator. Now the difficult part began, as he “ran a campaign against a well-entrenched Democratic incumbent, U.S. Senator Moss.” Senator Hatch shared with me that his “confidence was not improved” by the fact that in 1976, “Moss was a three-time incumbent who could not be beaten. U.S. News and World Report that year had said that Senator Moss’ seat was the ‘most safe’ seat in the Senate.” But Orrin won the battle against the incumbent Senator, and was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1976. Senator Hatch has since been re-elected by his adopted state of Utah four times.

It is customary for new U.S. Senators not to speak out in their freshman terms, but Senator Hatch did not follow that custom. In his first term in the U.S. Senate he led a filibuster to defeat a major labor bill that was heavily backed by the Democrats.

The proposed labor bill, before the U.S. Congress, was critical to the union movement of the late 1970s. “Union membership was starting to decline, and this bill would have legislatively forced more union membership.” Hatch was very concerned about what some had referred to as the most important labor union bill in four decades. The bill was strongly supported by George Meany, head of the AFL-CIO, and was supported by President Jimmy Carter, as well. Hatch took on the defeat of this bill as his own “personal cause.” He said, “I strongly felt that the proposed labor bill was not in the best interest of the country and would be very detrimental to the U.S. economy, which was already starting to see high inflation entering the picture in the late 1970s.” Hatch added, “I believed that if this labor bill passed that millions of workers could be forced to join unions and inflation would skyrocket.”

Since 1976, Orrin has been a key member of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. He has served on that Committee during his entire tenure in the United States Senate. Senator Hatch and his wife Elaine live in Vienna, Virginia, and Salt Lake City, Utah. The Hatches are active in their Mormon faith; they are happily married with several children and many grandchildren. Orrin, a returned Mormon missionary, also served as a Bishop in the Mormon Church before being elected to the U.S. Senate.

His insightful and informative biography, Square Peg: Confessions of a Citizen Senator (2002), provides a unique inside perspective of Capitol Hill, or check out the complete set of nine stories about Overcoming Adversity, in the book, "Leadership and Adversity: The Shaping of Prominent Leaders" - by Howard Edward Haller, Ph.D.

Copyright 2008, 2009 ©Howard Edward Haller, Ph.D.

Howard Edward Haller, Ph.D.
Chief Enlightenment Officer
The Leadership Success Institute

Author's Bio: 

Howard Edward Haller, Ph.D.
Professional Keynote & Motivational Speaker, Award-Winning Published Book Author, University Professor, Author "Leadership and Adversity: The Shaping of Prominent Leaders" & Leadership Academic Scholar

email: HowardEdwardHallerPhD@gmail.com

Howard Edward Haller, Ph.D.'s groundbreaking overcoming adversity and leadership research was published as a book in late 2008: "Leadership and Adversity: The Shaping of Prominent Leaders," by VDM Verlag Dr Müller AG & CoKG. This book has received great reviews which can be seen online at Amazon in the US, Canada, UK and Germany.

The 16 prominent leaders who overcame adversity and even major trauma, that were personally interviewed by Dr. Haller included: Dr. Tony Bonanzino, Jack Canfield, William Draper III, Mark Victor Hansen, U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch, Monzer Hourani, U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye, J. Terrence Lanni, Dr. John Malone, Angelo Mozilo, Larry Pino, Dr. Nido Qubein, U.S. Army Major General Sid Shachnow (Ret.), Dr. John Sperling, Dr. Blenda Wilson, and Zig Ziglar.

Five internationally scholars and best-selling authors peer reviewed and concurred with Dr. Haller's research findings in this groundbreaking overcoming adversity and leadership findings: Dr. Ken Blanchard, Dr. John Kotter, Professor James Kouzes, Dr. Paul Stoltz, and Dr. Meg Wheatley.

Dr. Howard Edward Haller is a award-winning published author: • Keynote and Motivational Speaker to Corporations, Associations and Colleges • He is a Professional Member of NSA • He is a successful Executive Coach & Mentor to Corporate and Non-Profit Senior Executives in the US & Canada • He is SelfGrowth.com Expert on Leadership, Overcoming Adversity and Personal Success • He is a US Presidential National Award and Prize Winning Essayist. • He is an Accomplished Screenwriter, Television writer & Member of the WGAw. • Dr. Haller is a major expert on Overcoming Adversity and Leadership.

Dr. Howard Edward Haller is a well-respected academic writer, editor, scholar and major University Trustee, University Graduate Business School Professor and past President of University Board of Trustees.

Dr. Haller was selected and appointed a member of the Editorial Peer Review Board of the prestigious “International Journal of Servant Leadership,” along with world renowned leadership scholars & best-selling authors.