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Nelson Davis

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Information about Nelson Davis

Profile image of Nelson Davis

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Television Producer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Pie (Sweet Potato)
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Napa Valley, California
Favorite Quote:
Enough Talking. Let's Get It Done.

Birthplace

Born:
10/6/1942
Birth Location:
Andalusia, Alabama

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Television Producer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Pie (Sweet Potato)
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Napa Valley, California
Favorite Quote:
Enough Talking. Let's Get It Done.

Birthplace

Born:
10/6/1942
Birth Location:
Andalusia
See how Nelson Davis is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Production executive Nelson Davis was born Nelson Lee-Earnest Davis, Jr. on October 6, 1942, in Andalusia, Alabama, and grew up in Niagara Falls, New York. At the age of fourteen, Davis knew he wanted to pursue a career in radio broadcasting. His career began with a high school internship program and part-time announcing job at a local radio station. From Niagara Falls, he moved to a larger station in Ottawa, Ontario, where he took courses in business, worked as a program director and hosted various television shows.

After becoming a freelance host and producer, Davis worked on a series for PBS, commercials for presidential candidate Ronald Reagan, and a film in Africa. In 1980, Davis joined the NBC-TV network as manager of mini-series, eventually becoming director of daytime programming. His first weekly series was MAKING IT! Minority Success Stories, a show that was on the air from March of 1989 and received over twenty-five awards and citations, including two local Emmy Awards as Best Public Affairs series. In 1984, Davis was named the executive producer of Name That Tune for the show’s rebirth. He was hired by Merv Griffin to produce the pilot episode of Jeopardy!, and he helped launch the Fashion Channel. He started his own production company in 1988, Nelson Davis Television Productions. The following year, his production company created and co-produced Campus All-Star Challenge, a quiz series for historically black colleges. Nelson Davis Television Productions also produced children's specials built around oral storytelling, and Black History Notes.

Davis serves as the Los Angeles Area Vice President of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He is a member of the Board of Advisors for the National Association of Women Business Owners and is on the Board of Directors of the Pacific Coast Regional Small Business Development Corporation. Davis is a member of the Santa Monica College Associates and has also been active with Big Brothers. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Media Advocate of the Year Award and the Minority Advocate of the Year Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Supplier of the Year Award from the Southern California Regional Purchasing Council, and the Entrepreneurial Dream Maker Award from the Women's Enterprise Development Corporation. Davis also received the Entertainment Award from the Los Angeles Mayor's Minority Business Committee.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Nelson Davis' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Nelson Davis lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Nelson Davis describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Nelson Davis talks about Montgomery, Alabama
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Nelson Davis describes his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Nelson Davis describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Nelson Davis describes how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Nelson Davis remembers his mother's entrepreneurism
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Nelson Davis lists his sisters
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Nelson Davis describes his earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Nelson Davis talks about his upbringing
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Nelson Davis recalls his family's move to Niagara Falls, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Nelson Davis describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Nelson Davis remembers his childhood in Niagara Falls, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Nelson Davis describes Center Avenue School in Niagara Falls, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Nelson Davis recalls his early interest in science fiction
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Nelson Davis remembers North Junior High School in Niagara Falls, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Nelson Davis recalls 1950s television programs
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Nelson Davis remembers his early interest in radio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Nelson Davis recalls the progression of music in the 1950s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Nelson Davis remembers Niagara Falls High School in Niagara Falls, New York
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Nelson Davis recalls seeing live performances in Buffalo, New York
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Nelson Davis remembers his early radio career aspiration
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Nelson Davis remembers his first jobs in radio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Nelson Davis talks about forgoing higher education
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Nelson Davis recalls his work for CKOY Radio in Ottawa, Canada
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Nelson Davis remembers moving to Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Nelson Davis recalls his early TV career in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Nelson Davis remembers working with President Ronald Wilson Reagan
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Nelson Davis talks about his early documentaries
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Nelson Davis remembers becoming an NBC network executive
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Nelson Davis recalls his role on 'The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,' pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Nelson Davis recalls his role on 'The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,' pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Nelson Davis recalls his work for NBC's game show programming
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Nelson Davis describes the development of 'Campus All-Star Challenge'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Nelson Davis talks about his show, 'Making It! Minority Success Stories'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Nelson Davis describes his production philosophy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Nelson Davis describes his hopes for the African American community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Nelson Davis reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Nelson Davis reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Nelson Davis talks about his extended family
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Nelson Davis shares advice for aspiring media professionals
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Nelson Davis describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Nelson Davis narrates his photographs