Ben Hanson

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Ben Hanson

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  • Benjamin Gustav Hanson

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Benjamin (Ben) Hanson was born in 1926 in North Dakota, and moved to Washington with his family when he was young. He joined the military after high school, and later would go on to go to attend law school at the University of Washington [1]. He opened a law firm in Tacoma and became involved with Tacoma politics, joining the City Council. Ben Hanson was appointed as mayor of Tacoma in June 1958 by the Tacoma City Council under the Council-Manager form of government, and at 31 years old, he was inaugurated as Tacoma’s youngest-ever mayor at the time. [2] (Former Mayor Mike Parker now holds that title, elected at 30 years old in 1977 [3]). Two years later, in 1960, Hanson was elected to be retained by popular vote, and served 2 more years as Mayor of Tacoma [4]. Notably, during his term he made a visit to Tacoma’s sister city of Kokura City, Japan in 1959. After his time as Mayor, he went back to practicing law until his retirement. He passed away in 2007.


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Written by Lauren Moseman, 2023.




[1] Benjamin Hanson Obituary, Benjamin Hanson Obituary (2007) - Tacoma, WA - News Tribune (Tacoma) (
[2] “Ben Hanson Elected Mayor” The Tacoma News Tribune (Tacoma, Washington) · Tue, Jun 3, 1958 · Page 1.
[3] Baarsma, Bill. Chronology of Tacoma Mayors, Updated May 2020, Tacoma Historical Society.
[4] Benjamin Hanson Obituary, Tacoma News Tribune, 2007.

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