Earl Nickolson, Jr. was born on June 28, 1932 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas to the union of Earl Nickolson and Bessie McCrary Nickolson. He attended AM&N College in Pine Bluff and later received his Bachelor of Arts and Masters Degrees from Governors State University, University Park, Illinois. He served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars and retired from the United States Air Force after 20 years of loyal service. Working with the US Department of Veterans Affairs, he was the area Readjustment Counselor Therapist. He served in numerous organizations and was a faithful member of St. Timothy Community Church.