August Nissen was born Cedar County, Nebraska, near the town of Laurel, to Peter Nissen and his wife Hansene Tidemann. He served in World War I, then lived most of his life in the Lincoln, Nebraska area. He met his future wife (Olga Jensen) at Laurel and they were married in 1920. He worked as a farmer and later as a janitor. He liked to listen to horse races and ball games on the radio and watch wrestling on tv. In later life he suffered from arthritis and heart disease. He and Olga are buried at Lincoln Memorial Park Cemetery.