Las Vegas television reporter Tom Hawley has died following a battle with pancreatic cancer, his employer announced Friday morning.
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Hawley, 60, was known on air as “Chopper Tom” due to his frequent news reports from a Sky 3 news helicopter. His employer, KSNV-TV Channel 3, reported his death Friday, saying Hawley was a longtime Las Vegan who cherished Nevada.
Hawley was a committed reporter who regularly produced reports on Southern Nevada history known as the Video Vault series.
He was also a musician who played “standup bass,” as well as an avid hiker, KSNV said.
“He loved Southern Nevada’s mountains,” his employer wrote. “He hiked to the top of Mt. Charleston 60 times, the last time just a few months ago—one climb for every year he spent on and flying above the landscape he loved. While he climbed, he thought of you, his neighbors, and friends.”
Hawley was a graduate of Rancho High School and UNLV.
Many viewers posted tributes recognizing his contributions to Las Vegas through journalism on his personal Facebook page Friday morning.
“Your contributions to this community far exceeded your traffic reports,” poster Rob Alahn wrote. “Thank you for sharing your perspective, knowledge and love of Las Vegas.”