After serving in the Vietnam War as a U.S. Marine master sergeant, Nielson became a pioneer of the corporal punishment video genre, doing his first films on Super-8 in the late 1970s. He launched Nu-West in San Marcos, California in 1978.
Nielson appears (as Ed Lee) in many of his company's spanking and flagellation videos playing a harsh disciplinarian of female models or as an overseer in F/F scenarios. In later videos from their femdom division Leda, he also acted as a submissive using the alias Leon Dalman.
Nielson retired in November 2012 after being diagnosed with terminal cancer and died on 6 January 2013 at the age of 73.