Growing up in Salem, the state capital of Oregon, made it easy for Mark Hatfield to observe the government first-hand. While in high school, he traveled to the Capitol to sit in the cafeteria and talk with the legislators and the Governor. As a student at Willamette University, he was a Capitol guide on Sunday afternoons. Between visitors, he would sit in the Governor's chair and think that one day he would like to sit there as Governor.
In 1950, Hatfield began his political career in the Oregon Legislature. He spent two terms in the Oregon House of Representatives and two years in the Oregon Senate. In 1956, Hatfield became the youngest Secretary of State in Oregon history at age 34. In 1958, he married the former Antoinette Kuzmanich; the same year, he was elected Governor of Oregon, becoming the state's first two-term governor of the twentieth century upon re-election in 1962.
Hatfield was elected United States Senator in 1966. He was re-elected in 1972, 1978, 1984, and 1990, the longest serving U.S. Senator from Oregon. He was one of the most respected Senior Senators in the United States. As a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Hatfield always looks for peaceful resolutions to world conflicts and domestic disputes. In 1992, the legislation he authored asking for an end to U.S. nuclear testing was passed.
Hatfield's distinguished career in public service ended in January 1997 when he retired from the U.S. Senate.
Hatfield was initiated into Chemeka Chapter DeMolay in Salem, Oregon, in 1940. He served as Master Councilor in 1940 and State Master Councilor in 1941. He holds a Legion of Honor. Hatfield was inducted into the DeMolay Hall of Fame on June 25, 1993.
"The foundations of this great Nation are embodied in the very principles of DeMolay Brotherhood. I have found DeMolay to be an inspiration in my public life and I am honored to be inducted into the Hall of Fame."