The cause of death is not yet known. Hotel employees found him at 9:30 a.m., after he missed a wake-up call. He was in Atlanta covering the Chicago Bulls-Atlanta Hawks playoff series.
"We are all stunned right now. Daryl was a great member of our sports team, and was so excited about covering the Bulls during this playoff run," Station Manager Frank Whittaker said in a story posted at NBCChicago.com.
Hawks was married with two children, a Marine veteran and a three-time Emmy winner. His online biography at NBCChicago.com noted that he was still an active athlete into his 30s, playing tackle football, pick-up basketball and golf. He was also active in charitable activities that promoted physical fitness, in Junior Achievement and in the National Association of Black Journalists.