Born in Chicago, Illinois, Don Hopfer graduated from Notre Dame University and then moved to Tempe, Arizona to be his family and the Chicago Cubs during spring training. It was there that he met his wife, Devi, who he called “The Goddess.”
Don became a KAET-TV volunteer in 1975 and then a full-time employee in 1977. He spent over 25 years at KAET producing programs, mentoring ASU students and creating cutting edge television. Don’s numerous credits included the first globally-televised, live open-heart surgery program, live coverage of Arizona Governor Evan Mecham’s impeachment proceedings and news pool coverage of the Pope’s visit to Sun Devil Stadium.
His passion for photography led him to produce the acclaimed “Barry Goldwater: Photographs and Memories,” recognized with a Rocky Mountain Southwest Emmy Award for his direction. His production of “Thieves of Time” was honored with and International Film and Television Award and a CINE Golden Eagle Award.
Don influenced every KAET production as an executive producer, director or coach — always willing to share his experience and extend his hand to help anyone at anytime.