Don Banks, a journalist who covered the NFL for many years, died early this morning in Canton, Ohio, after covering the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony. He was 57.
Banks had just begun working for the Las Vegas Review-Journal and published his first piece in today’s paper. The story, an inside look at how last season’s Hard Knocks affected the Browns, was a well-reported, well-written article, as Banks’ work so often was.
“Words can’t express the depth of sadness the Review-Journal staff feels for Don’s family and friends,” Review-Journal Executive Editor Glenn Cook said Sunday. “Beyond a sportswriting institution, Don was a dedicated husband and father and a class act. No NFL journalist commanded more respect. The sport has lost one of its finest storytellers.”
Banks covered the Hall of Fame Game on Thursday and the induction of new Hall of Famers on Saturday night and appeared healthy and excited about beginning his new job at the Review-Journal, according to colleagues. This morning he was found unresponsive in his hotel room in Canton. Paramedics arrived and found that he had died in his sleep.
A well-liked and respected reporter, Banks worked at several outlets in his long career but is best known for his 17 years at Sports Illustrated.
He is survived by his wife and two adult sons.