Tenor saxophonist who was a master of jazz, swing, and bebop. He collaborated with a variety of groups and artists, including Jazz at the Philharmonic.
He could play piano, cello, and saxophone by age nine and was touring Kansas by age fourteen.
As a jazz tenor saxophonist, he toured with Mamie Smith's Jazz Hounds.
He got married to his wife Dolores and they had three children together.
Miles Davis once said he learned to play ballads from Hawkins.