Born April 15, 1955 in Anson, Mankin grew up in the rural community of Truby in Jones County. He attended college at Texas Tech where he studied political science. He arrived in the newspaper business via an unusual route, while working in the oilfield when the bottom fell out of the oil and gas markets.
“By 1994, I realized that I would have to change careers or leave town,” Mankin said. “Eldorado had a really good school system and we wanted our kids to finish school there so I started looking for options.” It was then that a friend told him the Eldorado Success might be for sale, and that's when Mankin, who enjoyed tinkering with PCs made his move. “Buying the newspaper let us stay in Eldorado and allowed me to work with computers — I had no clue how much I would love the business.”
In 2005, he purchased the Big Lake Wildcat from David Werst.
Mankin's readiness to serve the community is evident in his role as a newspaper publisher, and in many other ways. He served five years on the Eldorado city council and worked as the city administrator for an additional five years. He’s served on the Schleicher County Appraisal District board of directors and the Schleicher County Hospital District board of trustees, where he currently serves as board president. He is a member and past president of the West Texas Press Association and a recipient of WTPA's prestigious Harold Hudson Award, and honor presented annually to an outstanding member for commitment to community and to the newspaper profession in West Texas.
Randy and Kathy Mankin have been married 37 years. They are members of Community Baptist Church in Eldorado where he serves as a deacon and teaches the men's Bible study class. The Mankins have two children, Dr. Sarah Mankin, a family practice physician, and J.L. Mankin, editor of The Big Lake Wildcat.