Herbert Victor Hake was born in Hoyleton, Illinois, on August 10, 1903. He earned a bachelor's degree from Central Wesleyan College in Warrenton, Missouri, in 1928 and a master's degree from the University of Iowa in 1933. He taught art and theater and worked as a commercial layout artist.
Mr. Hake joined the Iowa State Teachers College staff as a theatre scene designer and technical director in 1938. He became the first radio program director in 1942 and the first director of radio and television in 1947. He was UNI's pioneer broadcaster. His programs, including "Landmarks in Iowa History", were known throughout the Midwest. Another program of special note is "Behind the Headlines" which he broadcast with Donald F. Howard  for many years.
Herbert Hake was also well-known as a cartoonist, columnist, and local historian with many popular publications to his credit.
In 1973, the call letters of campus station KTCF were changed to KHKE in honor of Mr. Hake. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Iowa Broadcasters Association in 1978 and received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from UNI in 1979.
Herbert Hake was married to Monabelle Hake. They had two daughters: Patricia and Priscilla. Mr. Hake died March 10, 1980.