Larry Whiting was born January 2, 1939, in Iowa City, Iowa. He grew up on a farm near Central City, Iowa, and was active in 4-H and the Future Farmers of America.
He received a bachelor's degree in agricultural journalism in 1962 from Iowa State University. While an undergraduate student, he received a national writing award from Sigma Delta Chi for work published in the student publication Iowa Agriculturist.
Upon graduation, he became farm and state editor of the Daily Reporter and Sunday Times in Spencer, Iowa. From 1963 to 1970, he worked at The Dakota Farmer magazine, serving as assistant editor, associate editor, director of public relations and editor.
He returned to Iowa State in 1970, where he served as assistant extension editor until 1972. He was then appointed editor of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development and the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development.
He received a master's degree in journalism and mass communications from Iowa State in 1976, and a doctorate in education in 1981, also from Iowa State. In June 1981, he became chairman of the department of information and publications in the College of Agriculture at the University of Maryland.
In 1985, he moved to Ohio State University to become professor of agricultural education and head of communications and technology. He received an ACE Award of Excellence in communications management in 1994. In 1997 he received the "Irving" award from A-DEC, the Agricultural Distance Education Consortium, for longtime service.
In July 2001 he transferred from his administrative position and began teaching in the agricultural communication degree program teaching communication law, the senior seminar course, and coordinating the agricultural communication program. In May 2004 the students in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences surprised him by dedicating the annual college student awards banquet in his honor. In 2005 he was honored again by the college with the Price Student Advising Award. He also received an ACE Outstanding Research Paper Award in 2002 and the Journal of Applied Communications Research Article of the Year Award in 2004. In 2005 he received the ACE Professional Award. He retired as Professor Emeritus from Ohio State March 31, 2006.