CLASS OF 2009
Dave Hamer began his broadcast career at KVTV Sioux City gaining experience as a street reporter-photographer. Moving to Omaha he was brought aboard as Chief Photographer at KETV when it signed on in 1957. There he polished his skills as a reporter-photographer covering the Starkweather murder rampage as well as covering City Hall and Courthouse stories.
Moving to KMTV Channel 3 Dave worked for 23 years, the first 18 as Assistant News Director under Mark Gautier. For nine years he wrote and produced the six and ten PM newscasts for Floyd Kalber and later for Tom Henry.
While at KMTV, Dave was the first television reporter-photographer from a local affiliate to cover the Vietnam War as early as 1962. He flew on helicopter assault missions and filmed ground activity from the Communist North Vietnam border to the Mekong Delta, and along the South China Sea. His four-part Documentary series “Our Men In Vietnam” was cited for Special Commendation by the Radio-Television Council, Omaha Area.
Dave moved to WOWT channel 6 in 1981 where he produced twenty-four documentaries and news special projects. He considered his best works to be “Crazy Horse, the Last Warrior,” the story of the Sioux war leader who defeated Custer at the Little Big Horn, “A Beach Called Omaha,” a remembrance by Roger McCarthy of D-Day, and “Arrival America” tracing the life of a little Italian girl, Rose Breci, who emigrated to America in 1909 and lived a full and productive life in Omaha.
In all, Dave covered stories in 40 of 50 states and ten foreign countries. In many instances, he did research, interviews, writing, photography, editing, and music scoring. His last major assignment was covering the Gulf War in Saudi Arabia
Hamer served as President of the Omaha Press Club in 1968, President of the National Press Photographers Association in 1971, and lectured at the annual Newsvideo Workshop at the University of Oklahoma for thirty-two years
From 1987 to 1997 he was an Adjunct Communications Professor at the University of Nebraska- Omaha where he taught night classes.
Dave’s awards are numerous. He was honored with the Creighton University Professional Journalism award in 1972, the University of Nebraska-Omaha Communication Award in 1986, and was cited by the University of Nebraska for Contributions to Nebraska Journalism in 1991. In addition, he became a Life Member of the National Press Photographers Association and held photojournalism’s highest award, the Sprague Memorial. Dave Hamer retired in 1991.
Dave passed away on August 23, 2023 at the age of 93.