- Distinguished Alumni Service Award (1956)
- Rhodes Scholar (1920)
A 1920 graduate of The University of Idaho, Lindley went on to become an internationally recognized figure in journalism and foreign affairs. He was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University before embarking on his professional career as a reporter in 1924 as a reporter for The Wichita Beacon. Later that same year he went to work as a reporter for the New York World, staying until 1931, when he switched to the New York Herald Tribune. He wrote for that paper until beginning a long association with Newsweek magazine in 1937. At Newsweek, he was head of the Washington, DC bureau and wrote a weekly column, "Washington Tides," from November 10, 1941 until May 1, 1961. From 1938-1943, he also worked as a columnist and reporter for The Washington Post.
Lindley was also well-known during his Washington, DC years for his radio and television appearances on public affairs programs. In 1961, he became a special assistant to U. S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk and was a member of the State Department's Policy Planning Council. He stayed with State until 1969.
Lindley's many honors and awards included an Honorary Doctor of Literature from the University of Idaho in 1960; honorary degrees from Long Island University and LeHigh University; the Honor Award of the Department of State, 1966; the Superiour Service Award of the Department of State, 1969; the Order of St. Olav, Norway; The University of Idaho Hall of Fame, 1967; and honorary membership in The Indiana Academy, 1974.