A. J. Sims was born on a farm in Wayne County, Tennessee, in 1892. He graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and in 1915 went to work for the Lawrence (Tennessee) Democrat, where he became chief reporter, advertising manager and assistant editor.
In 1917, he joined the Nashville Tennessean, where he became state news editor and produced a weekly page called "Country Life." The page was later expanded to an eight-page section aimed at farmers and their families.
He became the first extension editor at the University of Tennessee in 1920. During his tenure there, Sims was a monthly contributor to the Progressive Farmer, Country Gentleman, Farm Journal, Hoard's Dairyman, and other publications. He was appointed head of the agricultural information department in 1946.
In 1954, he went to the Philippines to set up an agricultural information system. After retiring from the university in 1960, Mr. and Mrs. Sims went to Tehran, Iran, where he was agricultural information officer for the International Cooperation Administration.
He died at his Knoxville home February 16, 1978. He was 85.