Lisle Longsdorf was born January 1, 1901, in Arkansaw, Wisconsin, and attended high school in Durand, Wisconsin. He received a bachelor's degree in agricultural journalism from the University of Wisconsin in 1925, and a master's degree from Wisconsin in 1926. Following graduation, he was employed by an advertising agency in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and later became technical editor for the U. S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin.
He went to Kansas State College in July 1927, as extension editor and radio program director. Here, he was in change of the college radio station KSAC, a pioneer in the field of educational radio.
In 1953, he spent three months in Iran as a consultant under the Point IV program of USDA. While in Iran, he established an extension service for the Ministry of Agriculture. In 1954, he served one year as assistant director of information at the USDA and was awarded the department's superior service award.
Longsdorf died August 10, 1991, in Ithaca, New York, at the age of 90.