Pledger Carmichael was born July 27, 1917, in Carrollton, Georgia. He received an A.B. degree in journalism in 1940 and a master's degree in economics in 1953, both from the University of Georgia.
He was a reporter, news editor and managing editor for the Carroll County Times in Carrollton, Georgia from 1937 until 1942. Under his editorship, the newspaper was awarded a trophy through the Georgia Press Association for having the best local news coverage of any weekly newspaper in Georgia.
In 1942 he joined the University of Georgia staff as assistant extension editor. In 1946, he was named associate editor, and in 1956, he became editor. In 1964, he was promoted to professor. When he retired in 1975, he was also chairman of the division of agricultural information at the university.
During Carmichael's presidential term, the ACE Quarterly (now the Journal of Applied Communications) was started. He was also a leader in the organization of the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT).
He was a member of Sigma Delta Chi, Phi Kappa Phi, Mu Zeta Alpha, Zeta Sigma Phi, Epsilon Sigma Phi and the Athens, Georgia Rotary Club, where he edited their monthly bulletin. He died suddenly at Athens, March 28, 1997.