Monday, March 16, 2009

Tom Hanson Tribute

I knew Tom Hanson. Now, I did not know him well but one couldn't work in the newspaper business for decades without meeting and working beside Tom Hanson. He was an aggressive shooter and a fine person. He will be missed.

You see, award-winning photojournalist Tom Hanson is dead at 41. He died suddenly Tuesday, March 10, 2009, collapsing while playing hockey, one of his passions outside of his work. Hanson's other passions in life included playing the guitar and riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle, but towering above all his interests was his passionate love for his wife, Catherine.

The day after his death, Prime Minister Stephen Harper honoured Hanson by saying Tom was a talented photojournalist who distinguished himself both by the quality of his work and his character. "Through his photos, Tom helped to chronicle our story as Canadians. Whether it was a defining moment on the campaign trail, the shy smile of an Afghan child or the triumph of a Grey Cup victory, Tom had a unique ability to capture the essence of whatever he was photographing."

The House of Commons responded to Harper's tribute with a thunderous ovation.

Hanson and Catherine lived in Ottawa but Hanson was often away from home, travelling the globe for Canadian Press, CP, Canada's national news agency. Hanson's last foreign assignment was covering Harper's recent visit to New York. Hanson was as comfortable covering Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan, the evacuation of Canadians from Lebanon in 2006, or the humanitarian crisis in Haiti as covering a political scrum in Ottawa.

On each and every assignment Hanson focused his unique skills as a photojournalist -- he melded photographic skill, news judgment and a creative, artistic eye to create memorable, award-winning images of lasting importance.

To see some of Tom Hanson's work go to the CP site honouring his work at:

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