Bryant Kearl was born September 21, 1921, in Paris, Idaho. He worked on a small dairy farm and as a mill hand, bank teller, and newspaper correspondent while completing his bachelor's degree in political science and journalism at Utah State University, which he received in 1941. He earned a master's degree in agricultural journalism in 1942 from the University of Wisconsin, and a doctorate in political science and journalism in 1951 from the University of Minnesota.
From 1941 to 1963, with two years out for navy service, he taught agricultural journalism and was on the editorial staff at the University of Wisconsin. He headed this staff from 1951 to 1963, and later served as associate dean of the graduate school, dean of university outreach, and vice chancellor from 1968 to 1970, and again from 1978 to 1984. He retired in 1989.
In 1952, Kearl worked with past ACE President Hadley Read (1961-62) in a Marshall Plan program to promote agricultural journalism as a tool for rebuilding German agriculture. He has also spent short periods at universities in East Africa and Australia, and from 1970 to 1974, headed the Asia Office of the Agricultural Development Council.
He was a member of Alpha Zeta, Epsilon Sigma Phi, the American Agricultural Editors Association and other organizations. He died in Madison September 30, 1993. He was 72.