Real estate pioneer Howard W. Hanna Jr. dies at 101

By LISA KLEIN

The founder of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services died on Sept. 25 at the age of 101, his family announced Monday.

Howard W. Hanna Jr. founded the eponymous brokerage in 1957 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania after achieving the rank of captain in the U.S. Army and serving in World War II.

Howard Hanna Real Estate Services is a member of Luxury Portfolio International and its parent, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World.

Known for his personal touch and handwritten notes, Mr. Hanna quickly became a leader in both the real estate industry and his community. The corner of the brokerage’s first office in Pittsburgh is now known as Howard Hanna Way.

The company has expanded to include more than 400 real estate and related offices in 11 states with 13,000 sales associates and staff. It is the largest independently owned and operated real estate brokerage in the nation.

Numerous awards have been bestowed upon Mr. Hanna, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Realtors Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh and the Senator John Heinz History Center’s History Makers Award for giving back to the Western Pennsylvania region.

Also known as a dedicated family man, Mr. Hanna’s clan included his late wife, Anne Freyvogel Hanna, children Howard W. Hanna III, current company CEO Helen Hanna Casey and Annie Hanna Cestra, 10 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.

Mr. Hanna’s children and grandchildren have joined the business over the years and are carrying on the family tradition in leading Howard Hanna Real Estate Services into the future.  

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