Retired Air Force Brigadier General Archie Higdon was the son of James Cleveland Higdon (Cleve) and Angeline Robb (Angie) and was born October 22, 1905 in a log cabin in Saline, Mercer County, Missouri. Brigadier General Higdon received his B.S. from South Dakota State University in 1928. He received his M.S. in 1930 and his Ph.D. in 1936, both from Iowa State University. His teaching career spanned many years and several Universities: North Dakota State University, 1930-1934; Iowa State University, 1934-1942 and 1946-1951; U.S. Military Academy, 1952-1954; U.S. Air Force Academy, 1954-1967; California State Polytechnic College, 1967-1972.
His military career included service in the National Guard, ROTC and Reserves. In World War II he served in the Army Air Corps from 1942-1946. He was recalled to active duty in 1951 during the Korean War and retired from the Air Force as a Brigadier General in 1967. He was awarded the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the USA and USAF Commendation Medals.
Brigadier General Higdon served as the Chairman of three departments at the United States Air Force Academy: mathematics, physics, and mechanics. He was later Chairman of the Basic Science Division, Chairman of the Engineering Sciences Division, and Associate Dean for Basic Sciences and Engineering. He was awarded the title of Professor Emeritus in recognition of his distinguished contribution to the Air Force Academy as a faculty member and permanent professor. Following his retirement from the Air Force, Dr. Higdon was the Dean of the School of Engineering and Technology at California State Polytechnic College, in San Luis Obispo, California.
Brigadier General Higdon was an active member of the American Society for Engineering Education and was the assistant director of the undergraduate study on the goals of engineering education. He was a member of Sigma Xi, Pi Mu Epsilon, and Phi Kappa Phi. He was the author of two books: Engineering Mechanics and Mechanics of Materials.