O. B. "Cope" Copeland was born in Carroll County, Georgia in 1916. He received a bachelor's degree in 1938 and a master's degree in 1952, both from the University of Georgia. In 1958, he received a doctorate in agricultural journalism from the University of Wisconsin.
His career assignments include youth editor of Progressive Farmer magazine (1938 to 1942) and editor for the Georgia agricultural extension service (1942 to 1943). During World War II he was a first lieutenant in the Army.
Following the war, he returned to the University of Georgia as extension editor. In 1956, he became head of the department of agricultural information at North Carolina State University, filling the vacancy created by the death of Frank Jeter, AAACE president from 1919-20.
In 1959, he rejoined Progressive Farmer as associate executive editor and was the first editor of Southern Living magazine. He was later named vice president and director of the Southern Progress Corporation, publisher of these two magazines. He retired in 1982, and devoted much of his time to writing personal memories.
Copeland was active in Sigma Delta Chi, the Rotary Club and the University of Georgia Alumni Association. He passed away December 21, 2005.