Born: June 21, 1850
Ohio connection: Birth
Daniel Carter Beard was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, but in his youth, his family moved to Covington, Kentucky. While living there, he developed an intense love of nature, especially the Ohio River and the Banklick Creek region south of Covington. This love of nature and outdoor living would greatly influence his later life and writings. Beard studied civil engineering in Worrall’s Academy in Covington and following his graduation in 1869, he began working with the office of the city engineer in Cincinnati. In 1878, he moved to New York City. In the following years, Beard became a noted author and illustrator. In 1882, he wrote and illustrated What to Do and How to Do It: The American Boy’s Handy Book, which became a classic among young boys. His illustrations drew notice from a number of authors, including Mark Twain, for whom he did the illustrations in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. During this time he established an outdoor recreation program for boys, The Sons of Daniel Boone. In 1909, while on the staff of The Pictorial Review, he founded The Boy Pioneers of America, which was one of several organizations that banded together to form The Boy Scouts of America in 1910. He was elected as one of three national Scout commissioners. Throughout the rest of his life Dan Beard wrote many articles and books, including a very popular monthly column in the scouting periodical Boys’ Life. His books included Outdoor Games for all Seasons, American Boys’ Book of Wild Animals, The Black Wolf Pack, Wisdom of the Woods, Hardly a Man is Now Alive (his autobiography), and Dan Beard Talks to Scouts. Beard was married to Barbara Alice Jackson in 1894 and they had two children, Barbara and Daniel. He died on June 11, 1941, at the age of 90, in Suffern, New York.