Reuben Brigham was born December 13, 1887, in Marlboro, Massachusetts. He was the son of a farmer and professor of agriculture. Brigham graduated from the Maryland Agricultural College (now the University of Maryland) in 1908. For the next five years, he operated a farm in Maryland. He returned to the university in 1913 to serve as secretary of Alumni Affairs to the university president. When the Smith-Lever Act established the extension service later that year, he joined the Maryland College of Agriculture staff, where he was their first extension editor and 4-H club agent.
In 1917, he joined the U. S. Department of Agriculture's extension service in Washington, D.C., to develop an editorial and visual aids service for extension editors. He also started the Extension Service Review magazine in 1930.
During the depression years of the 1930s, he joined the Agricultural Adjustment Administration where he was in charge of a regional section of the "Triple A" information office. In this position, he "saw to it that the college editors of the nation were used in all information plans and that the local state extension staff, including the editor, was not by-passed..." He later returned to the extension service and was named assistant director.
He died unexpectedly December 6, 1946, while attending the National 4-H Club Congress in Chicago. He was one week short of his 59th birthday. Following Reuben Brigham's death, past president Frank Jeter said, "Brigham had as much to do with the successful formation and organization of the American Association of Agricultural College Editors as any other one single person."