Rex Keith Bumgardner was born on September 6, 1923 in Clarksburg, West Virginia. He attended Victory High School where he played both basketball and football. His basketball team at Victory High School was distinguished for winning the Scholastic Championship in 1941.
Bumgardner served in the United States Air Force during the Second World War and was stationed at Luke’s Air Force Base in Arizona, where he played for the base’s service football team.
After his service, he attended West Virginia University where he played football as a half-back. He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills at the beginning of the 1948 season and finished 7-7. He was later signed by the Cleveland Browns in 1950 and had a 10-2 season, while winning the NFL’s American Division. The team went on to win the 1950 Championship game against the Los Angeles Rams with a 30-28 victory. Bumgardner played two more seasons with the Cleveland, Browns but in 1953 cashed out to the Colts. However, he retired in 1953 when he was cut from the Colt’s before the beginning of the season.
Upon his retirement, he returned to Clarksburg where he served as the deputy sheriff. Later, he operated as both the treasure and sheriff for Marion County and soon became a U.S. Marshall. In 1976, he resigned as U.S. Marshall to run for sheriff of Harrison County. Rex Bumgardner died in 1998 in Clarksburg, West Virginia.