Born in nearby Homewood in 1925, Nunn played basketball with Cooper at both Westinghouse High School and West Virginia State College. After college, Nunn took a job with the Pittsburgh Courier where his father — Bill Nunn Sr. — was the editor-in-chief. The Pittsburgh Courier was one of the nation’s most influential black newspapers at the time, and for 25 years (1950-1974) Bill Jr. was the man responsible for selecting the Black College All-America football team. That association led to an opportunity to become a part-time scout with the Steelers in 1967, and two years later he joined the organization on a full-time basis.
With the benefit of Nunn’s guidance and eye for talent, the Steelers selected more than a dozen players from black colleges during the early stages of the Chuck Noll era, and that later proved to be instrumental in Pittsburgh winning four Super Bowl titles during the 1970s. Frank Lewis of Grambling, Donnie Shell of South Carolina State, Mel Blount of Southern University, Ernie Holmes of Texas Southern, John Stallworth of Alabama A&M and L.C. Greenwood of Arkansas A&M were among the players Nunn helped the Steelers discover and sign. The success that Pittsburgh had with players from black colleges did not go unnoticed by other teams around the NFL, and that led to opportunities for many more black players.
In an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette several years ago, Nunn said: “The one doggone thing I’m proud of is the way I might have been a part of opening some doors to pro football for black men, not just as players, but as coaches and front-office personnel too. I’ve been able to see progress.”
Nunn, a true pioneer, was inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame on February 27, 2010 as part of its 11-member inaugural class that also included greats of the game such as Eddie Robinson, Buck Buchanan, Willie Lanier, Deacon Jones, Walter Payton and Jerry Rice.