Hanson was born in Fargo, North Dakota in 1924.She studied at the University of North Dakota, Mills College in Oakland, California and the University of Wisconsin and was a bassoon player, performing with civic orchestras. As an amateur golfer, she won the Texas Open in 1949 and both the California and Southern California ladies’ championships. She was a member of the 1950 U.S.Curtis Cup golf teamand that year won the U.S. Women’s Amateur.
In 1951, Hanson turned professional and won the very first event she competed in. She won the inaugural LPGA Championship in 1955, defeating Louise Suggs. In 1958 she was the leading money winner on the LPGA Tour.
Hanson had 17 career wins on the LPGA Tour of which three were majors. Besides the inaugural LPGA major title, in 1956 she won the Women’s Western Open and on this day in 1958 theTitleholders Championship. TheTitleholders Championship was a women’s golf tournament played from in 1937 to 1966 and again in 1972. It was later designated a major championship by the LPGA Tour.