PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF DR. CHARLES AND MRS. CAROLYN BEAIRD
Carolyn and Charles Beaird, of Shreveport, Louisiana, led lives of outstanding dedication and commitment to their community, to their beliefs and to their family--common values they shared during nearly 63 years of marriage.
Dr. Beaird's life was characterized by numerous accomplishments of an intellectual, social and political nature. During WWII, he served as a pilot whose mission to recapture the Phillippines earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross. Once home, he later built a small manufacturing firm, Beaird-Poulan, into the fourth largest maker of chainsaws in the world.
In 1956, he was one of the first Republicans elected to public office in Louisiana since the Reconstruction and gave the honorary seconding speech for Dwight D. Eisenhower's nomination for a second term at the 1956 National Convention. Although initially a conservative, his life experiences gradually transformed him into a passionate liberal supporter. Also a fierce intellectual, he earned a B.A. from Centenary College, and later his Ph.D. in philosophy at Columbia University in New York, at the age of 50.
In 1976, Dr. Beaird purchased the Shreveport Journal, which, under his leadership, crusaded for change, and whose literary opinions continued even after the paper ceased publication. In 1994, his editorial page was named a Nominated Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Editorial Writing.
Mrs. Beaird was an ardent philanthropist, serving on numerous boards and committees in the Shreveport area, with a special focus on children and the Presbyterian Church. She co-founded the Juvenile Justice Program, assisting 'at-risk' youth and served on the National Committee that would reunite the Presbyterian churches of the north and south, which had been divided since the Civil War. In the early 1960's, she enrolled at New York City's Union Theological Seminary and worked with the residents of East Harlem on issues of social and racial justice.
Dr. and Mrs. Beaird's philanthropic legacy will impact generations of Shreveport residents, a devotion continued by their children, their families and the Charles T. Beaird Foundation.