William Beeson III ’56 died on January 28, 2004, in San Luis Obispo, California.
Born on May 25, 1934, in Charleston, WV, he prepared for college at Radnor (PA) High School and became a member of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity at Bowdoin. Following his graduation in 1956, he served in the U.S. Army in Germany, where he wrote the text for a musical that was performed there. He was the founder and co-editor of Metamorphosis, a New York literary magazine, before joining the Lavenson Bureau of Advertising in Philadelphia. In 1967, he was awarded a fellowship in a Ford Foundation program to train administrative personnel in performing arts organizations. His training was done at the Houston (TX) Alley Theater, and it led to a position of executive director of the Spartanburg County Arts Council in South Carolina. He was a writer and producer with Gray & Rogers, Inc., an advertising firm in Philadelphia, where he published The Recession Cookbook. In later years, he was a senior writer with TV Guide and U.S. News & World Report magazines. In 1988, he moved to San Luis Obispo, where in 1996 he gave a one-man performance piece, Gasping for Breath, excerpted from a book he had written about the trials and tribulations of a life overcome by alcohol and emphysema and a renewed life in recovery. He served as secretary and vice president of the San Luis Obispo Arts Council and as president of the local chapter of the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependency. For many years a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, he was active in the Drug and Alcohol Council. He is survived by a daughter, Avery Beeson of Washington, DC; and two sisters, Nettie Strockbine and Donnan Runkel.