VIRGINIA — Bill Hanna, former executive editor of the Mesabi Daily News and an award-winning journalist, died early Monday morning at his home in Virginia/Mountain Iron.

He was 70 years old.

Hanna had been with the Mesabi Daily News, now Mesabi Tribune, from the mid-1980s until 2016, when he had a life-changing heart attack. He successfully underwent a heart transplant in 2017, receiving the heart of a young man who had died tragically. Later Hanna was diagnosed with terminal cancer, for which he had radiation and chemotherapy until December. He had been in hospice care since Dec. 24.

Hanna had been with the paper more than 30 years, joining the staff in the mid-1980s and serving as managing editor. He later was named editor and for the last several years had been executive editor. Among his awards was the Herman Roe Editorial Award given annually by the Minnesota Newspaper Association, in memory of Roe, publisher of the Northfield News.

Funeral arrangements are pending with Washburn-McReavy Funeral Home in Minneapolis.

A more extensive story on Hanna will be in the Thursday edition of the Mesabi Tribune, and a pending obituary is in today's paper.

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