John Pim Penrose Hawkes, known as Penrose Hawkes, was born March 22, 1900 to John Pim Penrose Hawkes and Sara Hawkes in County Cork, Ireland. He emigrated to Corning, New York in 1916 upon the request of his cousin, Samuel Hawkes, who needed assistance in running T. G. Hawkes & Co, a cut glass firm that he had recently inherited from his father.
Penrose Hawkes married Marion Fishback in Manhattan, New York on October 21, 1937. For many years, he managed the New York City retail store, which closed in 1949. Upon Samuel Hawkes's retirement, Bradley Lindsley managed the firm with assistance from vice president Penrose Hawkes. Under their direction, the firm declined and was ultimately liquidated in 1962. Penrose Hawkes then opened and managed a retail store for Hawkes and Waterford crystal in Corning until his death in 1972.