Rex Saunders is the second-eldest of Fred and Olive Saunders’s ten children. He was born in St. Leonard’s, now known as St. Lunaire-Griquet, on the Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland. His family moved to Main Brook, White Bay, where he attended school as a boy. He began making his way as a fisherman at a young age, both on shore and off, plying his trade on the Newfoundland and Labrador coasts. Over the years he has worked as a fisherman, woodsman, and sealer. On May 4, 2009, Rex Saunders went missing after his sealing vessel capsized; he spent two nights alone on the ice floes off the northern Newfoundland coast. His story of survival went national after he was rescued from the ice approximately fifty-three kilometres from his home. He is married to the former Irene Earle. They have five children and six grandchildren and currently reside in St. Lunaire-Griquet, Newfoundland.