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Legend Biography

Larry Rea


Syndicated Radio Show Host of Outdoors with Larry Rea

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Larry’s love for the outdoors didn’t come naturally.
Being from a broken home growing up in North Little Rock, Arkansas, young Larry’s Uncle Perry Holloway, a decorated veteran of World War II who survived Utah Beach on D-Day, first introduced Larry to hunting and fishing. Perry was there when Larry caught his first fish, a small bream on Central Arkansas’ historic Lake Conway. He was also there when Larry killed his first squirrel.
During and after his college years at the University Arkansas Larry started his career as a sportswriter for the Arkansas Democrat in Little Rock. In 1965, he crossed ‘Old Man River’ and in July 1967 accepted a position at The Commercial Appeal in Memphis as its prep sports editor, a position he held for more than two decades.
And that was when fate knocked at Larry’s door when legendary outdoor editor Henry Reynolds decided to retire after 44 years. In more than 100 years there were only four outdoor editors at The Commercial Appeal. Larry became the fourth in April 1988, a position he held until retiring in January 2001.
Since August 2001 Larry has been the host of the award-winning Outdoors with Larry Rea radio show with his audience stretching from Memphis and throughout the Mid-South. He calls his show the ‘Fastest 90 minutes in Outdoors Radio Programming.’
Keeping abreast of the ever-changing world of communications, Larry created his own web-site – Larry continued to write a weekly outdoors column for The Commercial Appeal for several years after retirement and served as the editor of The Mid-South Hunting & Fishing News for three years. He also hosted an annual Media Gathering for more than a decade at Gaston’s Resort on Arkansas’ White River.
Over the decades of his career, Larry has been recognized with numerous awards by his peers in the Tennessee Outdoor Writers Association, Southeastern Outdoor Press Association, the Outdoor Writers Association of America and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
The Tennessee chapter of the American Fisheries Society awarded Larry its Friends of Fisheries Award in 2006. In 2017, Larry was named the Legends of the Outdoors’ first Wade Bourne Outdoor Communicator of the Year. He was inducted into the Tennessee Sportswriters Hall of Fame in 2009 and the Memphis Amateur Sports Hall of Fame in 2017. In May 2022, Larry was honored by the Tennessee Wildlife Federation as its Conservation Communicator of the Year.
Larry, a man of strong faith, also keeps busy speaking at wild-game dinners hosted by many churches in the Mid-South and coordinating seminar speakers for the annual Mid-South Sports, Boat and RV Show. For many years he was the director of the Mid-South Junior Fishing Rodeo, which introduced hundreds of youth to fishing.

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