Hannah has fathered five children, and is twice-divorced. Hannah was raised in Swainsboro, Georgia. He started drinking at 14, despite having a "good family." He was a construction worker until the age of 27, when he joined the United States. Army.
He was soon discharged after injuring himself during basic training.
After his injury, he started drinking heavily, leading to his homelessness and alcoholism. In the early 1990s, he moved to California, where he was approached by Ryan McPherson to produce
He subsequently was filmed performing other "stunts" for the videos, including riding a shopping cart down a flight of stairs, ramming his head into steel doors so hard that he today suffers from epilepsy, and beating up Donald "Donnie" Brennan, another homeless man, so badly that Brennan"s leg was broken in two places and required surgical intervention.
Brennan, an army veteran, and Hannah (who was injured in basic training), were paid an average of $10 per stunt. Both men were also paid to get "" tattoos: Hannah"s tattoo was across his knuckles and Brennan"s was on his forehead.
In 2002, Hannah and Brennan testified in the criminal trials of the producers of, on several charges, including the soliciting of felonies.
The defendants were acquitted on the majority of charges and sentenced to community service for conspiring to stage an illegal fight (in 2005, they were sentenced to 6 months in prison for having failed to complete the community service). Hannah and Brennan also filed a civil suit against the producers. The producers agreed to pay an unspecified amount in damages, and to no longer use Hannah and Brennan"s images for promotional purposes.
Hannah has been sober since 2003, and is now a property manager.
He spends 40 hours a week painting apartments, constructing fences, and many other things. He hopes to one day get the "Bum Fights" tattoo removed from his knuckles.
In 2010 he released a book co-written with Barry Soper entitled "A Bum Deal: An Unlikely Journey from Hopeless to Humanitarian" detailing his ordeal from becoming a homeless alcoholic, his time during the filming of and his struggle to get sober.