Beard, Charles Austin (1874-1948) | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
Charles Austin Beard (November 27, 1874- September 11, 1948) is widely regarded as one of the most influential American historians of the early 20th century Beard was best known for his studies of the Constitution, for his creation of bureaus of municipal research and for his studies of public administration in cities, including a famous study of Tokyo, The Administration and Politics of Tokyo.
He also often wrote in collaboration with his wife, Mary Ritter Beard, whose own interests lay in feminism and the labor union movement. Together they wrote a popular survey, The Beards: Basic History of the United States.
Beard was active in the American Political Science Association and was elected as its President in 1926. He was also a member of the American Historical Association and served as its president in 1933. Charles A. Beard joined George S. Counts in 1929 as a member of the American Historical Association's Commission on the Social Studies. When Counts accepted a position as the Director of Research for the Commission in 1931, he began working more closely with Beard, and the two collaborated on the controversial final report of the Commission. Counts moved beyond the Commission to other important endeavors, including being appointed editor of Social Frontier, originally conceived as a radical education journal. While Counts was editor of the journal, Beard contributed articles and reviews as well as advice about the directions Social Frontier should take. Beard died in 1948.