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Richard Holman Hatch, Jr. is the very first Survivor winner, earning the title of Sole Survivor in Survivor: Borneo. He later competed on Survivor: All-Stars.

Proudly gay, Richard was best known for his unlikely friendship with the tough-as-nails militaryman Rudy Boesch, and creating the series' first-ever alliance, the Tagi Alliance, a voting bloc that controlled the game and helped define Survivor gameplay, as his strategy became a template for how the game would be played in subsequent years. He ultimately became the first Sole Survivor in a close 4-3 jury vote.

His status as the first winner made him a prime target in All-Stars, as an general anti-winner sentiment prevailed among the cast. He was voted out in 14th place after his tribe turned against him.

As the first winner, Richard is considered to be one of the greats of the game, but his legacy is not without notoriety due to his penchant to nudity, allegations of tax evasion following his win, and controversy with former ally Susan Hawk in All-Stars.


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Richard currently runs his own business as a corporate trainer and consultant, conducting seminars on numerous topics including, conflict management, team building, practical negotiation and public speaking. In addition, he is a licensed real estate agent and has worked as a car salesman and bartender. He spent five years in the Army, initially enlisting and then becoming a West Point Cadet.

Richard is halfway through the Masters' program in education and counseling at Providence College in Rhode Island. Past studies have included oceanography and marine biology at Florida Institute of Technology, management at The United States Military Academy and general studies at George Mason University. He earned his Bachelor's degree in Management and Applied Behavioral Sciences through National-Louis University.

Richard describes himself as bright, rational, spontaneous and humorous - "just as comfortable running a meeting in a boardroom as attending the annual nude weenie roast of the American Society of Harley Davidson Enthusiasts." He enjoys provocative and meaningful conversation, any sport involving water (snorkeling, spear fishing, swimming, etc.) and camping.

Richard is from and currently lives in Newport, Rhode Island. He is single and has an adopted son, Christopher. His birth date is April 8, 1961.[1]

Richard Hatch shocked the country when he was crowned the original Sole Survivor on Survivor: Borneo. Since then, he has been touring the world as a spokesperson and motivational speaker. He worked as a correspondent for "Entertainment Tonight" and CBS News' The Early Show, and made a guest-starring appearance on CBS's Becker.

Richard continues to run his own business as a corporate trainer and consultant, conducting seminars on numerous topics, including conflict management, team building, practical negotiation and public speaking. In addition, he is a licensed real estate agent and has worked as a car salesman and bartender. He spent five years in the Army, initially enlisting and then becoming a West Point Cadet.

Richard's education includes studies in oceanography and marine biology at Florida Institute of Technology, management at The United States Military Academy and general studies at George Mason University. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Management and Applied Behavioral Sciences through National-Louis University.

Richard describes himself as bright, rational, spontaneous and humorous, "just as comfortable running a meeting in a boardroom as attending the annual nude weenie roast of the American Society of Harley Davidson Enthusiasts." He enjoys provocative and meaningful conversation, any sport involving water (snorkeling, spear fishing, swimming, etc.) and camping.

Richard continues to live in his hometown, Middletown, Rhode Island. He is single and has an adopted son, Christopher. His birth date is April 8, 1961.[2]



Richard competed in the inaugural season of Survivor, which would later come to be known as Survivor: Borneo. He was placed on the orange Tagi tribe, where his outspoken and somewhat arrogant nature rubbed his tribemates the wrong way. Richard's arrogance became clear over the next few days, such as claiming on Day 1 that he had already won the game and being unhelpful around camp. After losing the first Immunity Challenge, Richard speculated that he was in danger of being voted out due to his arrogance. He decided to target Stacey Stillman for being the weakest link. However, the tribe voted out Sonja Christopher instead as she had cost the tribe the challenge the day before.

The next day, Richard attempted to catch fish with Kelly Wiglesworth and Susan Hawk, however, they were unsuccessful. In a confessional, Richard expressed his desire to get to know Stacey better, as he had voted for her at the previous Tribal Council and revealed that Stacey believed Rudy Boesch was the one who voted for her. After revealing he was gay to the rest of the tribe, Richard was scared to tell Rudy, as he feared Rudy would be homophobic. However, after telling him, Richard was surprised to learn that Rudy was comfortable around him and even referred to Richard as one of the nicest people he had ever met. During an unaired Reward Challenge, Richard was the designated weight bearer for Tagi. He lost the challenge to Joel Klug of Pagong. However, they managed to win the subsequent Immunity Challenge on Day 6.

After winning fishing gear at the next Reward Challenge, Richard revealed his proficiency at fishing, catching a stingray and fish for his tribe, causing some envy from Sean Kenniff. Richard's fishing ability increased his position in the tribe, with many of his tribemates praising his ability. Tagi once again lost the Immunity Challenge on Day 9, sending them back to Tribal Council. Richard again targeted Stacey for her weakness. This time, he got his way, as Stacey was voted out in a 5-2 vote. Richard then formed Survivor's first alliance on Day 10 between himself, Kelly, Rudy, and Susan. Although acknowledging having an alliance was sneaky, Richard deemed it necessary to ensure his survival for the next few rounds. Richard expressed confidence about this alliance, saying that if they stuck together, they would be unstoppable. Things began well for the alliance as Tagi was able to win the next Immunity Challenge.

The tribe later became annoyed at Dirk Been and Sean's failed attempts at catching fish as they were wasting time instead of working. Richard revealed another skill of his by performing better than anyone else with the slingshot the tribe needed for the next challenge. Despite his accuracy though, Tagi was unable to win the Reward Challenge on Day 14. At camp, Richard found a snake, and despite knowing its lethal consequences, decided to play with it. After losing the following Immunity Challenge, Richard planned with his alliance about whether they should vote out Dirk or Sean. Although they initially decided on voting for Sean, after seeing how weak Dirk had become, they changed their votes and Dirk became the Tagi Alliance's first victim. After successfully ousting Dirk, Richard became confident that he was in control of the game. The tribe started thinking about the merge and decided that winning the next Immunity Challenge was crucial in order to go into the merge with even numbers. Around camp, Richard decided to start walking around naked, which both amused and irked his tribe. The Tagi tribe managed to win immunity on Day 18, which meant they would go into the merge against Pagong tied with 5 members each.

After merging into the Rattana tribe on Day 20, Richard's alliance had a decision to make: either vote out the former Pagong members or Sean, the only Tagi member not in the alliance. Richard expressed his surprise at Sean and Gretchen Cordy's unwillingness to form an alliance, calling it sheer stupidity. Richard bonded well with his new tribemates, learning how to play cards from Gervase Peterson and bonding with Greg Buis. He was also excited when he learned that he was still the only person in the tribe who knew how to fish. At the first Tribal Council of the merged tribe, Richard's alliance decided to target Gretchen, as she was seen as the leader of Pagong. After an unexpected 4-1-1-1-1-1-1 vote, Gretchen was voted out.

The following day, the tribe began to realize how good of a position Richard had put himself in. As he was the only person able to fish, if the tribe voted him out, they would not eat anything other than rice. Richard and Greg continued to get to know each other, with both thinking the other one was overconfident and neither knowing whether they should trust the other one. The Tagi Alliance noticed how threatening Greg could become if he stuck around and voted him out at their next Tribal Council on Day 24. Richard and Susan celebrated their position in the game, but became weary of Kelly's wavering trust in the alliance. After Rudy accidentally overcooked Richard's fish, he decided to stop fishing for a few days so the tribe would appreciate it when he did catch fish. This backfired slightly as Colleen Haskell became annoyed at Richard's attitude. This was further made worse when the women of the tribe managed to catch fish by themselves, rendering Richard useless. The former Pagong members became aware of Richard's alliance and formed their own counter alliance. Richard then celebrated his 39th birthday on Day 27 by walking around naked. This annoyed several members of the tribe which caused Richard to put his clothes back on. Richard continued to notice Kelly distancing herself from the alliance and began to wonder if she would flip on him if she got the chance. Although the counter alliance targeted Richard, his own alliance stuck together, and Richard barely made it through the next Tribal Council where the alliance piggy-backed off Sean's alphabet voting strategy to vote out Jenna Lewis.

After surviving the last Tribal Council, Richard became delighted and considered stopping catching fish until all of the ex-Pagong members were voted out. Kelly and Susan planned on eliminating Richard at the final three and revealed that they never truly trusted him. Richard won the Immunity Challenge on Day 29, keeping him safe going into an uncertain Tribal Council. Kelly officially left the alliance and considered joining the ex-Pagong members. Sean also became uncertain with his former Tagi tribemates. However, the Tagi Alliance stayed strong once again to vote out Gervase. On Day 32, Richard joined Sean on a reward and got to eat breakfast on a yacht. Sean's father, Jim, was also on the ship and gave all of the remaining contestants a care package from their loved ones back home. At the next Immunity Challenge, Richard annoyed his tribemates by singing "99 Bottles of Beer", in hopes of throwing his tribemates off balance. He, however, did not make it halfway through his song before falling off the plank. Back at the beach, the alliance, sans Kelly, discussed voting her out due to her untrustworthiness. However, Kelly managed to win immunity, forcing them to vote out the last Pagong member remaining, Colleen.

The next day, Richard and Rudy further solidified their alliance, saying that they would never vote against each other and planned on voting out Kelly next. However, Kelly managed to win immunity again, forcing them to vote out Sean, the only person left to never be part of the alliance. Now, with nowhere left to turn, the alliance was finally forced to turn on itself. On Day 37, the final four reflected on how far they had come, commenting on how much weight they have all lost and the effect the game has had on their bodies. That night, Kelly continued her immunity streak, which put Richard in hot water. Although Richard and Rudy voted against Susan, Kelly joined Susan in voting against Richard. After both Richard and Susan pleaded their case on why they should stay, Kelly changed her vote, eliminating Susan and saving Richard.

Host Jeff Probst woke the remaining three castaways up early the next day to partake in their Rites of Passage and Final Immunity Challenge. After reflecting on all of the castaways who had been voted out before them, Richard, Kelly, and Rudy began their Final Immunity Challenge. After two and a half hours, Richard came to the conclusion that both Kelly and Rudy would take him to the Final Two. Because of this, Richard stepped down, eliminating himself from the challenge. Richard's prediction proved right as Kelly voted out Rudy, bring Richard to the Final Tribal Council. On Day 39, the two finalists reflected on how far they had come. Both Richard and Kelly prepared for the questions they would be asked by the jury. After burning down their camp, the finalists headed to their Final Tribal Council.

During his opening speech, Richard argued that he had played the best game. After being questioned by Gervase, Richard admitted that if he could change one thing about his game, he would put less trust in the other contestants. Jenna asked the finalists who they would want to see in the Final Two instead of them; Richard chose Greg and Rudy. Colleen asked Richard what character traits got him to the end. Richard answered "observation" which confused Colleen as he had not got to know anyone very well. Greg asked the two finalists to pick a number between one and ten; Richard chose seven. However, Greg later revealed that the numbers had no impact on his vote and that he had already made up his mind about who to vote for. Sean admitted that he loved Richard's "Fat Naked Fag" strategy. During Susan's speech, she called Richard whiny and a loser in life. However, Susan also compared him to a snake and Kelly to a rat. She finished her speech by lamenting that the jury should let the game end the way nature intended, for the snake to eat the rat. In the end, Richard received the votes of all of the ex-Tagi members and Greg, granting him the title of Sole Survivor in a 4-3 vote.

Voting History

Episode Richard's
Voted Against
1 Stacey -
2 Tagi Tribe Immune
3 Stacey -
4 Tagi Tribe Immune
5 Dirk -
6 Tagi Tribe Immune
7 Gretchen Colleen
8 Greg -
9 Jenna Colleen,
Gervase, Jenna
10 Gervase Individual Immunity
11 Colleen -
12 Sean -
13 Susan;
Kelly, Susan;
Ineligible -
Jury Votes
for Richard
Greg, Rudy, Sean, Susan
Sole Survivor, Day 39

^1 In "The Final Four", the vote ended with a 2-2 tie between Richard and Susan, forcing a revote. On the revote, Richard did not receive any votes to be eliminated.


Richard's appearance on Survivor: All-Stars was a short, but eventful one. He, according to host Jeff Probst, "smuggled a canister of matches up his bum", earning his Mogo Mogo tribe fire. In every Immunity Challenge, he competed naked. On Day 7, while he went fishing, he got bitten by a shark which his tribe would eat. However, Mogo Mogo lost one member on Day 9 when The Amazon winner Jenna Morasca quit in order to be with her dying mother.

When the Saboga tribe was dissolved on Day 13, Mogo Mogo gained two extra members, Ethan Zohn and Jerri Manthey, and when they lost immunity on Day 15, the tribe immediately targeted Richard. Although Richard got wind of his impending doom and put together a counter strategy by aligning with the girls of his tribe, Jerri, Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien, and Shii Ann Huang, for a majority alliance to vote out the guys, starting with Colby Donaldson, his plans were foiled and he was voted out unanimously. Afterward, he screamed, "I've been bamboozled!", much to the amusement of his tribemates and Jeff Probst. It is worthy to note that in the challenge, he "accidentally" bumped into fellow Borneo contestant Susan Hawk while he was naked. This caused her to quit in the next episode.

Voting History

Episode Richard's
Voted Against
1 Mogo Mogo Tribe Immune
2 Mogo Mogo Tribe Immune
3 No Tribal Council
4 Mogo Mogo Tribe Immune
5 Colby Colby, Ethan, Jerri,
Kathy, Lex, Shii Ann
Voted Out, Day 15


  • In 2000, Richard appeared as a celebrity contestant on the Australian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. He answered incorrectly on the fourth question, winning nothing.[3]
  • Richard was a contestant in a special Survivor edition (although copyright prevented NBC from using Survivor in the edition's name) of The Weakest Link, along with fellow Borneo castaways Gretchen Cordy, Ramona Gray, Susan Hawk, Sean Kenniff, and Joel Klug on May 10, 2001. Despite being the strongest link in the first round, Richard was unanimously voted out.[4] He received a house minimum of $10,000 for his charity.
  • On May 19, 2002, the day of the Marquesas finale, Richard appeared live going into commercial break chatting with Rosie O'Donnell during the finale episode "The Sole Survivor". He started to jokingly unbutton his shirt and Rosie looked into the camera screaming "Police!". He would later be seen in the audience at the Marquesas Reunion Show.
  • In 2002, Richard, along with Susan Hawk, appeared on the short-lived game show Dog Eat Dog. Richard lost, while Susan went on to win the game.[5]
  • Richard was nominated in Survivor: America's Tribal Council for "Best Villain", but lost to Jon Dalton.

Richard on Family Feud for charity.

  • In 2005, Richard appeared as a contestant in a "Castaway Special" episode of Family Feud, where he competed with Jon Dalton, Rudy Boesch, Ethan Zohn, and Rupert Boneham. The five competed against Shii Ann Huang, Susan Hawk, Tijuana Bradley, Christa Hastie, and Jenna Morasca.[6]
  • In Summer 2005, Richard, along with Susan Hawk, Gervase Peterson, Jerri Manthey, and Burton Roberts, competed on the Bravo reality show Battle of the Network Reality Stars. He and Burton were on the dark blue tribe.
  • In Summer 2009, Richard, along with the other first eighteen Survivor winners, appeared on a TVGuide special "Survivor Millionaires: Where Are They Now?"[7]
  • Richard and the rest of the Borneo final four appeared at the Survivor 10th anniversary party in Spring 2010.
  • In 2010, Richard was inducted into the Survivor Hall of Fame along with Rob Mariano, Sandra Diaz-Twine, Parvati Shallow, and Russell Hantz.
  • In 2011, Richard met two of his [allegedly] 200+ children that became products of his past as a sperm donor, namely, Emily Kidd and Devin O'Neil. Both reached out to Richard and informed him that he is their father.[8]
  • Richard competed in the fourth season of The Celebrity Apprentice in March 2011, where his chosen charity was Grassroots Soccer, the charity created by fellow winner and All-Stars castaway Ethan Zohn. He was the project manager in the first task, but lost to Star Jones. Richard was spared as teammate David Cassidy helped the least in the task. Richard was later fired in task 5 after he contributed the least in their team's loss. He came back later in the season to be a part of Marlee Matlin's team in the final task.
  • During the Caramoan Reunion Show, Richard left a video for fellow Borneo and All-Stars contestant Rudy Boesch. In the video, Richard was fully nude and reading a magazine, before holding a bottle of sunscreen at the camera and asking Rudy to rub it on him.
  • In 2014, Richard appeared in the documentary The 16th Minute along with Cook Islands castaway Billy Garcia and several other reality show contestants.[9][10]
  • in July 2015, Richard and Kelly Wiglesworth appeared in the first episode of National Geographic Channel's mini-series The 2000's: A New Reality on Survivor's impact on television and their experience on the show.[11]

Richard's promotional photo for The Biggest Loser 17.

  • Richard competed on The Biggest Loser: Temptation Nation in 2016.[12] He was the fourth person eliminated; he started off with 314 lbs. and lost 34 lbs.
  • Richard attended the wedding of Ethan Zohn in July 2016.[13]
  • In December 2017, Richard and his husband Emiliano Cabral split after 14 years of marriage.[14]


  • On January 19, 2005, the United States Attorney's Office in Providence, Rhode Island, reported that Richard had failed to report the $1,010,000 he had received from Survivor on his Federal income tax returns (the additional $10,000 was paid for his appearance at the live Survivor Reunion after the finale). Richard also allegedly failed to report approximately $321,000 he received that year for appearances on radio station WQSX-FM in Boston. Prosecutors stated that Richard would be charged with filing a false tax return. An agreement was arranged whereby Richard was offered a lenient sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. Richard withdrew from the arrangement. He subsequently said he was basing his defense on his belief that CBS had arranged to pay the taxes before awarding him the money.
  • On August 18, 2009, he was re-arrested and taken into federal custody for granting two supposedly unauthorized interviews (prisoners under house arrest are required to get permission from the federal Bureau of Prisons before any media contact), one with Access Hollywood and another with Rhode Island NBC affiliate WJAR. He had been allowed by the Bureau of Prisons to be interviewed by Today earlier in the day. On September 9, 2009, Richard's private and ACLU lawyers petitioned for habeas corpus so he might return home for the remainder of his sentence, on the grounds that prison media-access rules apply only in prison, and that permissions are negotiated between the media and the prison, so their limitations did not bind him.
  • On October 16, 2009, Richard was released from prison after completing his federal sentence but was still under house arrest until December 2011.


  • Richard is the first contestant from Rhode Island.
  • Richard and Rudy are the first castaways with a military background.
  • Richard and Sonja are the first LGBTQIA+ castaways to compete on Survivor.
  • Richard became the first contestant to celebrate their birthday during filming (his birthday, April 8, coincided with Day 27 of Borneo). He turned 39 on that day.
  • Richard and Susan Hawk are the first two contestants to be involved in a tied vote. They are also the first two contestants to be rendered unable to vote as a result.
  • Richard is the first person to win Survivor.
  • Richard lost 42 lbs. during his time on Borneo.[15]
  • Richard is the only person in the first round of inductions to the Survivor Hall of Fame to not make the Final Tribal Council twice.
  • In 2008, Survivor host Jeff Probst mentioned in an interview that Richard attempted to smuggle a canister of matches in All-Stars, "in a little container up his bum".[16]
  • Richard's arrest was referenced by Probst during Panama's Reunion Show, when he told winner Aras Baskauskas to pay his taxes.
  • Richard is one of seven winners, along with Jenna Morasca, Sandra Diaz-Twine, Tom Westman, Tony Vlachos, Natalie Anderson, and Michele Fitzgerald to play more than once and not be a member of the jury in any season.
  • Richard was initially invited to compete in Survivor: Winners at War, but was cut from the final cast as production feared him going naked would not sit well with the modern audience, especially following an equally sensitive incident in the season prior. In a video he posted on his YouTube channel, Richard stated he withdrew from his Ph.D. program in preparation for the season, and while he was initially cleared to compete, he was informed by casting producers he was no longer competing 2 days before he was supposed to fly to Fiji.[17]


Preceded by
Title Established
Sole Survivor Titleholder
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Richard Hatch
Succeeded by
The Australian Outback
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Tina Wesson
Survivor: Borneo Castaways
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Survivor: All-Stars Castaways
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Mogo Mogo
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 Jenna L.
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 Jenna M.
Mogo Mogo
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Mogo Mogo
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Mogo Mogo
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Mogo Mogo
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 Rob C.
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 Rob M.
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 Shii Ann
Mogo Mogo
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