Born in Williamstown, Massachusetts on October 21, 1942, Dr. Hatfield was raised in a Connecticut orphanage until his graduation from Cromwell High School in 1961. Throughout high school, he competed in track & field, soccer, basketball and cross country all four years, and was honored at graduation as "best athlete."
He joined the U.S. Marine Corps and spent his enlistment with the Office of Naval Intelligence in the Philippines. He was honorably discharged in 1964. Then Dr. Hatfield enrolled at Southern Connecticut State University.
In college, he competed in gymnastics, and was team captain in his senior year. He competed in the National (NCAA) Gymnastics Championships three consecutive years as a college gymnast, and was the SCSU charter president of the National honorary athletic fraternity, Sigma Delta Psi. He graduated with honors in 1969, earning his Bachelor of Science degree in health, physical education & recreation.
Following graduation, he accepted a teaching fellowship at the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana, earning his Master of Science degree in the social sciences of sport. His doctoral studies at Temple University (Philadelphia) were completed during his tenure there as a teaching associate. His doctoral competency examinations were successfully completed in the social sciences of sport (psychology, sociology and motor learning). He was awarded his doctorate (Ph.D.). degree in 1973. Early in his career he was cited in "Who's Who in American Education," and voted one of the "Outstanding Young Men in America."
Following professorships at Newark State College and Bowie State College (New Jersey and Maryland, respectively), he accepted a professorship at the University of Wisconsin (Madison) in 1976, where he conducted research in sport psychology and taught undergraduate and graduate level courses. In 1980, Dr. Hatfield left Academia to begin a fitness equipment and training facility business in New Orleans. The lure of working for the largest health and fitness industry in the nation, however, took Dr. Hatfield to California in 1983. He launched one of the most successful sports training magazines in the country for Weider Health & Fitness, Inc. in 1985, Sports Fitness (later renamed Men's Fitness).
In 1983, Dr. Hatfield studied for a brief time at the famous Lenin Institute of Sport in Moscow (USSR). He returned there in 1989 as co-coach of Team USA for powerlifting competitions in Moscow and Abakaan, Siberia. He has four training books translated into Russian, distinguishing him as one of the best known Western strength experts in the Soviet Union.
Dr. Hatfield advanced to the position of Senior Vice President of Weider Health & Fitness, Inc. by 1989, and was director of research and development for that corporation until June, 1991. He created several sports nutrition products that have grossed several million dollars annually for Weider Health & Fitness, Inc. Then, from 1991 until 1994, Dr. Hatfield served as Director of Research & Development for Titan Sports, Inc., (the parent company of The World Wrestling Federation (WWF), since renamed World Wrestling Entertainment, or WWE. In this capacity he created and launched ICOPRO ("Integrated Conditioning Programs") and conducted research.
In 1991, Dr. Hatfield was awarded the prestigious Alumni Citation Award from Southern Connecticut State University "in recognition of [his] extraordinary achievements and distinguished career." Along the way, Dr. Hatfield distinguished himself as a best-selling author, winning the World Championships in powerlifting three times and one of the most sought-after personal coaches in the country among elite athletes from several different sports disciplines. To his credit are over 60 published books (many published in Italian, Japanese, Spanish, German and Russian), over 200 articles, more than 30 world and national records in five different weight divisions (a feat never before accomplished by any athlete in any sport), and many credits in the advertising, television and film industries as an athlete, talent and sports training and fitness expert.
His most memorable accomplishment in sport came at age 45 when, at a body weight of 255 pounds, he lifted 1014 pounds in the squat (1987), more weight than any man in history had ever lifted successfully in competition.
He has been consultant to several sports' national governing bodies, national sports federations around the world, professional sports teams, and many of the leading corporations throughout the world in the sports and fitness industry. He is widely sought after as a public speaker, presenting several seminars and clinics worldwide each year. He hosted a sports and fitness radio call-in show with WALE radio (Providence). He remains actively involved in research and writing in the areas of fitness, health and sports performance. He hosts one of the oldest and most popular internet fitness and sports training sites in history, www.drsquat.com.
Now residing in Clearwater, Florida, Dr. Hatfield is currently President of the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA), lecturing worldwide in that capacity. Throughout the years he remained internationally competitive in the sports of Master's level powerlifting and weightlifting. In August 1998 he represented the USA Weightlifting Team to the Nike World Masters Games in Portland, Oregon. In June of 2000, Dr. Hatfield was inducted into the Powerlifting Hall of Fame, located in York, PA. He is affectionately known around the world as "Dr. Squat."