Orval Hansen was born on August 3, 1926 in Firth, Bingham County, Idaho where he attended Idaho Falls public schools. He earned a B.A. from the University of Idaho and a J.D. from The George Washington University where he later earned an LLM and a Ph.D. in political science.
Mr. Hansen served in the United States Navy from 1944 to 1946, including one year in the Pacific on the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga. He was a member of the Air Force Reserve until his retirement as a lieutenant colonel in 1978.
He served four terms in the Idaho House of Representatives, including one as majority leader, and one term in the Idaho Senate. In 1968 he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives where he represented the State of Idaho for three terms until 1975.
After his service in the Congress, Mr. Hansen resumed the practice of law. In 1977 he founded and became president of the Columbia Institute for Political Research.
Mr. Hansen is married to the former June Duncan of Southport, England. June Hansen is an active actress in Washington D.C.'s professional theater with appearances in productions at a number of venues including the Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, and the Folger Shakespeare Theatre. The Hansens have seven children.
Mr. Hansen's outside interests include mountain climbing and long-distance running.