Tom Gildersleeve was born March 23, 1904, in Story City, Iowa. He received a bachelor's degree in technical journalism from Iowa State University in 1927.
His first job following graduation was as assistant extension editor and experiment station editor at Iowa State. In 1929, he moved to North Dakota to become extension and experiment station editor there. When he retired December 31, 1966, he was head of Agricultural Communications at North Dakota State University, and was named professor emeritus.
He joined AAACE in 1930, and served as secretary-treasurer and vice president before becoming president in 1947. He was granted honorary state 4-H and Future Farmer of America degrees.
In addition to ACE, he was a life member of Sigma Delta Chi and Epsilon Sigma Phi. After retiring he moved to Rochert, Minnesota, where he died June 13, 1993. He was 89 years old.