Kent Hatfield was born in 1959 in Altoona, Pennsylvania. He grew up in New York City, in the Bronx, where he attended Saint Angela Merici, a Catholic elementary school. After moving to New Jersey, he attended Belleville High School.
Following his graduation, he decided to pursue a career in the military, and at age eighteen, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in Newark, New Jersey, in January 1978. He completed basic training and advanced training at Fort Gordon, Georgia. During his time in the service, he was initially sent to a post in South Korea called Camp Castle from 1978-1979, before being transferred to Fort Hood in Texas. He was honorably discharged in August 1987. Afterwards, he decided to join the Reserves, where he was active for four years as part of the 78th Division in Morristown, New Jersey.
Hatfield was a longtime patron and employee of Manny’s Den, also known as The Den, in New Brunswick, New Jersey.