Longtime sportswriter Don Banks has died at 56 after attending Hall of Fame ceremonies in Canton, Ohio.

Banks, hired recently by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, died early Sunday morning.

His wife, Alissa, confirmed to the newspaper that Banks died in his sleep.

“He was re-energized and so invigorated by the opportunity to work (for the Review-Journal),” she told the Review-Journal. “He couldn’t wait to get started. It was the happiest I have seen him in quite some time.”

“He was supposed to arrive home in on Sunday morning. … He went very peacefully.”

Banks’ distinguished career took him to stops that included Sports Illustrated, the St. Petersburg Times and Minneapolis Star Tribune.

“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 journalist commanded more respect. The sport has lost one of its finest storytellers.”

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