Rex Nelson

Rex Nelson was born on September 2, 1959, in Arkadelphia, Clark County, Arkansas.

Nelson enrolled at Ouachita Baptist University in 1978, where he became a play-by-play announcer for Ouachita Baptist University football games. While in college, Nelson worked as the sports editor for Arkadelphia's Daily Siftings Herald and sports director for local radio stations KVRC-AM and KDEL-FM. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in mass communications in 1981.

Over the next four years, Nelson worked as a sportswriter for the Arkansas Democrat, editor of the Daily Siftings Herald, and news and sports director at KVRC and KDEL. In 1985 he returned to the Arkansas Democrat, first as assistant sports editor and then was assigned to Washington, DC, as the political correspondent.

Nelson returned to Arkansas in 1989 to take a position at Stephens Inc. In 1991 he became the editor at Arkansas Business and a year later became political editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. In July 1996, Nelson began serving as director of policy and communications for Governor Mike Huckabee. In 2005 President George W. Bush appointed Nelson to the Delta Regional Authority, where he served for four years. Nelson then served as senior vice president of government relations and public outreach for the Communications Group, president of Arkansas' Independent Colleges and Universities, and director of corporate community relations for Simmons First National Corporation.

Nelson returned to newspapers in 2017 as senior editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, where he is a regular columnist. Nelson has authored three books, published Rex Nelson's Southern Fried blog, produced the Southern Fried podcast, and has been a popular public speaker on politics and culture. His work as a play-by-play announcer for Ouachita Baptist University football games continues.

About the Pryor Center | Donate