Jim Nelson (editor)

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Jim Nelson
Born (1963-03-08) March 8, 1963 (age 54)
Cheverly, Maryland, U.S.
Nationality American
Occupation Editor
Known for Editor-in-chief of GQ
Partner(s) John Mario Sevilla

Jim Nelson (born March 8, 1963) is the current editor-in-chief of the magazine GQ.

Early career[edit]

Nelson began his journalism career in television, first working as a producer and writer at CNN and later moving to Hollywood where he worked briefly as a writer's assistant on television sitcoms.[1]

He made the shift to magazines at age thirty, starting with an internship at Harper's Magazine, From 1994 to 1997 Nelson was an editor at Harper’s Magazine under Lewis Lapham, where he was responsible for the magazine’s Readings section.[2] His writing has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine,[3] Gourmet, and Food & Wine.[4]


Nelson has been editor-in-chief of GQ since March 2003. Nelson joined the magazine as a senior editor in 1997, editing the work of such writers as Andrew Corsello, Elizabeth Gilbert, Charles Bowden, and Michael Paterniti. After working under Art Cooper as an executive editor, Nelson was appointed by Condé Nast to replace him as editor-in-chief in 2003.

Under his direction, the magazine has been nominated for sixty-two National Magazine Awards [5] and has won for feature writing,[6] reporting,[7] design,[8] photography,[9] and general excellence,[10] the highest honor in the industry. His own writing for GQ was cited in The Best American Sports Writing 2001.[11]

Also during Nelson’s time at GQ, the magazine has been nominated for forty-one James Beard Awards and has won for restaurant reviews and critiques, distinguished food writing, writing on wine spirits or beer, and humor.[12] In 2016 The Daily Front Row’s fourth annual Fashion and Media Awards honored Jim Nelson with the Magazine of the Year award for GQ.[13]

Most recently Nelson launched ‘The Closer with Keith Olbermann,’ a twice-weekly web series offering political commentary on the 2016 election and other timely news topics. After garnering more than 75 million views[14] for ‘The Closer,’ Olbermann returned with a post-election series on GQ.com called ‘The Resistance’ where he continues the conversation about the President elect.

Additionally, during Nelson’s time at the magazine, a number of GQ stories have become both small and large-scale film productions and TV series, including Concussion starring Will Smith, the Netflix series Last Chance U and the forthcoming film Granite Mountain.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Nelson graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.A. in American Studies.[16] He resides in Brooklyn with his partner, John Mario Sevilla, a dancer and choreographer.[17]