Graney reported Banks attended the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio, on Saturday. Paramedics were called to his hotel room in North Canton on Sunday morning and pronounced him dead.
Banks had just begun working for the Review-Journal.
"Words can't express the depth of sadness the Review-Journal staff feels for Don's family and friends," Glenn Cook, the paper's executive editor, said. "Beyond a sportswriting institution, Don was a dedicated husband and father and a class act. No NFL journalist commanded more respect. The sport has lost one of its finest storytellers."
A number of Banks' colleagues spoke about their interactions with him:
Chris Burke @ChrisBurkeNFL
From the moment I started at Sports Illustrated, at every big NFL event we both attended, Don Banks made sure we did dinner and drinks, and then introduced me to as many people as he could so I could build relationships. I’m honored to call him a friend. Rest in peace, Don.
Jeff McLane @Jeff_McLane
Don Banks was a rarity among NFL writers. Someone everyone liked. He was an excellent beat reporter, especially in Tampa, and graduated to league-wide coverage. He would often nail the tone of how to cover a big story. He was also a good friend. I will miss him. https://t.co/FC9nJkHS1c
Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero
I’m sick. Just saw Don on Friday in Berea. First question he asked was how @sarapelissero is doing. We talked about his wife’s job search, the move next year and his excitement to tell all the stories in Vegas. He always offered support for my career. Prayers with his family. https://t.co/ASEMWZWDt5
The Review-Journal posted Banks' first piece Saturday following his move to the paper. He had written about the Cleveland Browns' experiences on HBO's Hard Knocks, with the series following the Oakland Raiders ahead of the 2019 season.