Fast Facts

  • At age 13, became one of the youngest Boy Scouts ever to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.
  • Was member of the elite fraternity the Cap and Skull at Rutgers University.
  • Formed a dance band while at Rutgers and took it on tour after his graduation.
  • Played three years of varsity football at Rutgers.
  • Made feature-film debut, with his band, in 1940's The Letter, starring Bette Davis.
  • In 1941, he and wife, Harriet, began a three-year stint on Red Skelton's radio show.
  • In 1944, created and starred in the radio program The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, which made the successful transition in 1952 to television.
  • Wrote, produced and directed the 1965 feature Love and Kisses, starring his son Ricky and Ricky's wife, Kris Harmon.
  • Revealed in his autobiography Ozzie that he was a lifelong atheist.
  • Ranked No. 21 in a June 2004 TV GUIDE list of the 50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time.
  • The address of his high-school alma mater in New Jersey is 1 Ozzie Nelson Drive.


  • Alfred Nelson — Brother
  • Ethel Irene Orr Nelson — Mother
  • Donald Nelson — Brother
  • Harriet Nelson — Wife
  • David Nelson — Son
  • Ricky Nelson — Son
  • George Waldemar Nelson — Father


  • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ (1928); Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, School of Law, Newark, NJ (1930)


  • Birth Name: Oswald George Nelson
  • Birth Place: Jersey City, NJ
  • Died: June 3, 1975
  • Profession: Actor, Bandleader, Producer, Writer, Director, Songwriter

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