Sam Reck was born April 21, 1902, in Rockford, Illinois. He received a bachelor's degree in industrial journalism in 1929 from Iowa State College and then became extension editor at South Dakota State College, where he served until 1934. While an undergraduate at Iowa State, he was a correspondent for the Associated Press and was editor of the Iowa State Student. He later worked as a farm editor for radio station WOI at Iowa State and for radio station KFDY at South Dakota State. He was also a reporter for the Evansville (Indiana) Press.
In 1936, he became assistant bulletin editor at Iowa State, and a year later he was named extension editor. In 1942, he was appointed extension editor at Rutgers and served in that position until 1944, when he assumed additional duties as experiment station editor. He continued in these two roles until his retirement on December 20, 1965. He died December 20, 1975, at the age of 73.