Former Birmingham News publisher Victor Hanson II dies

Jan 7, 2022, 2:26 PM | Updated: 2:46 pm

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Victor Hanson II, a former publisher of The Birmingham News who worked in multiple positions before taking over the top leadership job, died Friday. He was 91.

Son Victor Hanson III said his father died in his sleep at a hospital after a brief illness, leaving his wife of 68 years, Elizabeth S. Hanson, and five children.

“He has a great legacy,” Hanson said in an interview.

Hanson’s family owned the paper for decades in the early 1900s, and he began working there after graduating from the University of Alabama in 1954, holding jobs that included reporting and selling advertisements, al.com reported. The Newhouse family kept the Hansons in leadership after purchasing the News in 1955, and Hanson was named president in 1980 and publisher three years later.

Hanson oversaw the editorial board when the paper won the Pulitzer Prize for editorials about inequities in Alabama’s tax system in 1991.

Hanson, who also held multiple civic leadership positions, retired as publisher in 2000 and turned the title over to Victor Hanson III, who also has since retired. Daughter Elizabeth Hanson Chick told al.com her father “was always larger than life in our family, very loving to all of us, including the (20) great-grandchildren; he adored all of them.”

The Newhouse-owned Advance owns Advance Local, which includes al.com and The Birmingham News.

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Former Birmingham News publisher Victor Hanson II dies