Don Beagle - GWHS Class '50
The Dandiest!
Born on March 25, 1930 - passed away January 16, 2000 at the age of 32

 
by Sally Ward Stumpf,  1950 Class Representative
My thanks to Bette Beagle for her help in writing this article about her brother.

 

There are many GW graduates whose talents and achievements have caused great pride in those of us who went to school with them. One who reached celebrity status from my era was Don Beagle. I did not know Don in school, but I wished I had. While writing this article, I discovered he was a very special person. Don passed away on January 16, 2000.

Don lived on Myrtle Street and was the grandson of RE and Elizabeth Knight, who owned Knights Hardware Store on King Street for many years. His high school career was interrupted when he quit school in 1947 to take a job, but he returned to GW later to graduate with the class of 1951. Some may remember that Don was on the rowing team.

After graduating from GW, he attended American University, where he studied journalism. While there he worked at WOL as a disk jockey, hosting “Your High School Hit Parade.” He also worked for WRC at the same time that Willard Scott and Eddie Walker were there. WRC recognized that he had a lot of potential and sent him to Richmond to gain experience in broadcasting. It wasn’t long before Don had his own TV show, “The Dandy Doodle Show.” This show originated on WTVR in Richmond in the mid-fifties and later became “Dandy Beagle and Sooper Dog.” It appeared live twice daily on weekdays for 13 years and was the highest rated program in Richmond history.

Don loved people, especially children, and spent his life giving of himself. He worked with Jerry Lewis and the Muscular Dystrophy Association and initiated “Carnivals for Dystrophy” in the Richmond area. 

Don served his country in the US Navy, and later worked for the Virginia Department of Health. He married Patricia Graziani in Richmond in 1956, and they had four sons, a daughter, and eight grandchildren.

In May of 1999, Don was inducted into the Richmond Broadcasters Hall of Fame. It looks like WRC was right about his potential.

 
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This page updated November 02, 2011

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