Abstract Sulfur doped graphene nanosheets (S-GNs) are synthesized by using graphene oxide (GO) as carbon source and sodium polysulfide as sulfur source, and then, annealing the prepared precursors (S-GO) at different temperatures up to 1000°C. The structure and morphological characteristics of the fabricated composites are investigated by Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and electrochemical methods. Electrochemical results show that S-GNs has high catalytic activity toward oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in an alkaline electrolyte in comparison with GNs. To improve the characteristics of S-GNs and prevent agglomeration of the particles, the S-GNs-1000-CB is fabricated by mixing the S-GNs-1000 with the carbon black (CB). The results show that CB particles inserted between S-GNs layers function as spacers and prevent the restacking of S-GNs during drying, and thus, most probably promote the diffusion of O2 molecules through S-GNs and enhance the ORR rate. The S-GNs-1000-CB composites show excellent electrocatalytic activity in alkaline solutions over all the studied (catalyst) samples. Our findings demonstrate that S-GNs-1000-CB is an appropriate catalyst for ORR in alkaline solutions, and could be a good candidate for replacement of the precious Pt based catalysts for this goal.