Hawkes was raised and lived his life in and around Geelong, Victoria. Educated at The Geelong College from 1909 to 1919, he showed enormous potential as a young sportsman, having won the Victorian School Boys U19 tennis title for 5 years in a row – described by historian Graeme Kinross Smith as the "nursery for tennis talent". Hawkes had also been touted as a future test cricketer for Australia and was made a member of the MCC at the age of 13. He was captain of the first Cricket team for the last 4 years of his school life at The Geelong College and according to school website, "In a legendary day of bowling in 1916, Jack Hawkes was to claim 10 wickets in a match against Wesley College." Tennis, however, was to create a more powerful pull than cricket. Taught on the lawn court at the family home "Llanberis", overlooking Corio Bay by family friend Russell Keays and influenced by tennis legend and family friend, Sir Norman Brookes, Jack's career blossomed in the 1920s. The wily left-hander, won a clean sweep at the Australasian Championships of 1926, winning the men's singles, men's doubles and mixed doubles in the same year. Hawkes was also runner-up in a marathon final against doubles partner Gerald Patterson in the men's singles Australasian Championships in 1927, winner of two US mixed doubles titles, winner of a total of three Australian doubles titles with Gerald Patterson as well as runners-up with Gerald Patterson in Wimbledon doubles and US doubles of 1928. Hawkes also won a total of three mixed doubles Australian championships – Hawkes was a three-times Davis Cup representative in 1921, 1923, 1925 and was controversially omitted from the team in the year of his Australian Open crown in 1926 and successful overseas tour of 1928. After his retirement from tennis, Hawkes was actively involved in tennis administration and ran the family business Hawkes Brothers, in Geelong until his retirement in the early 1970s. Jack Hawkes retired to Ocean Grove, (where he had holidayed as a child at the family's beachside home "Imbool"), and later to Barwon Heads before his death in Geelong, at aged 90 after a short illness, on 31 March 1990.