Sarcoidosis Death – Daryl Hawks

Posted on May 13, 2011 by

Daryl HawksSad news from the feed this morning. Daryl Hawks died May 12th 2011 from complications of Cardiac Sarcoidosis.

In an eerie deja-vu, the sudden death of another black male lead sports anchor for WMAQ-Channel 5 has left officials and staff at the NBC-owned news station reeling.

Sports anchor Daryl Hawks, who joined Channel 5 in July 2008, was found dead Thursday in his hotel room in Atlanta, where he had gone to cover Thursday night’s Game 6 of the Bulls-Hawks NBA playoff series.

Hawks, of River Forest, was 38 — only a year older than the late NBC5 sports anchor Darrian Chapman, who had been at the station only 16 months when in October 2002 he collapsed and died suddenly while playing a game of hockey.

“We are all stunned right now,” Frank Whittaker, NBC5’s Station Manager and Vice President of News, said. “Daryl was a great member of our sports team, and was so excited about covering the Bulls during this playoff run.”

Hawks leaves behind a wife, Sandy, their children ages 5 and 2, and a teenage son from a previous relationship.

Hotel employees found Hawks unresponsive in his room at about 9:30 a.m. Thursday (May 12th 2011), according to the news station.

Hawks was rushed to Emory University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:48 a.m.

“It’s surreal,” said CBS2 lead sports anchor Ryan Baker, who joined NBC5 as an anchor/reporter less than a year after Chapman’s death, and was replaced by Hawks after leaving for CBS in April 2008.

“Daryl and I flew down to Atlanta on the same flight Wednesday. We laughed and talked and he seemed fine. When we landed around 5 p.m., I said, ‘Maybe I’ll see you a little later,’” said Baker. “This morning, we were all here for the Bulls’ shoot-around, and after my interviews, I asked everyone, ‘Where’s Daryl?’ No one had seen him.”

When Baker returned to his hotel, he got the shocking news from the WMAQ photographer on assignment with Hawks.

The photographer had asked security at the Omni Hotel inside the CNN Center where Hawks was staying to check on the sportscaster, after Hawks missed a wake-up call.

“I thought of his wife and children, and the folks at NBC5, who I had seen still dealing with the aftermath of Darrian’s death when I first got there. For them to have to deal with this again? Unbelievable. And it’s just eerie that Darrian and Daryl were of similar age, background and stages in life, same young families…,” Baker said.

Chapman died of a heart attack as a result of cardiac sarcoidosis. The cause of death for Hawks was unknown late Thursday.

Friends and colleagues noted he was the picture of health, a former Marine and running back who briefly played semipro football with the Lockport (N.Y.) Invaders, and regularly played tackle football, basketball and golf.

“I work out everyday, other than spending time with my family, it’s what I love doing most,” Hawks wrote in his NBC5 biography.

His death was under investigation by the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office.

A spokesman for Atlanta police, however, said they had no reason to believe foul play was involved.


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