After working odd jobs in the first months of the Depression, Hanna joined the Harman and Ising animation studio in 1930. During the 1930s, Hanna steadily gained skill and prominence while working on such as Captain. In 1937, while working at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Hanna met Joseph Barbera, the two men began a collaboration that was at first best known for producing Tom and Jerry and live action/animated hybrid films. In 1967, Hanna-Barbera was sold to Taft Broadcasting for $12 million, at that time, the studio was sold to Turner Broadcasting System, which in turn was merged with Time Warner in 1996, Hanna and Barbera stayed on as advisors. Hanna and Barbera won seven Academy Awards and eight Emmy Awards and their cartoons have become cultural icons, and their cartoon characters have appeared in other media such as films, books, and toys. Hanna-Barberas shows had an audience of over 300 million people in their 1960s heyday. William Hanna was born to William John and Avice Joyce Hanna on July 14,1910 in Melrose and he was the third of seven children and the only son. Hanna claimed there was no war between the sexes nor sibling rivalry in their home, Hanna described his family as a red-blooded, Irish-American family. His father was a superintendent for railroads as well as water and sewer systems throughout the western regions of America. When Hanna was three years old, the moved to Baker City, Oregon, where his father worked on the Balm Creek Dam. It was here that Hanna developed his love of the outdoors, the family moved to Logan, Utah, before moving to San Pedro, California, in 1917. During the next two years they moved several times before settling in Watts, California, in 1919. In 1922, while living in Watts, he joined Scouting and he attended Compton High School from 1925 through 1928, where he played the saxophone in a dance band. His passion for music carried over into his career, he helped write songs for his cartoons, Hanna became an Eagle Scout as a youth and remained active in Scouting throughout his life. As an adult, he served as a Scoutmaster and was recognized by the Boy Scouts of America with their Distinguished Eagle Scout Award in 1985, despite his numerous career-related awards, Hanna was most proud of this Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. His interests also included sailing and singing in a barbershop quartet, Hanna studied both journalism and structural engineering at Compton City College, but had to drop out of college with the onset of the Great Depression. On August 7,1936, Hanna married Violet Blanch Wogatzke, in 1996, Hanna, with assistance from Los Angeles writer Tom Ito, published his autobiography—Joe Barbera had published his two years earlier. After dropping out of college, Hanna worked briefly as a construction engineer and he lost that job during the Great Depression and found another at a car wash
Hanna in 1977
Hanna, Sr. Artist Iwao Takamoto, studio employee, and Joseph Barbera at Hanna's birthday celebration at the studio, July 14, 1996. One of the few existing photos of the three together.