About James Glenn Beall
James Glenn Beall (June 5, 1894 – January 14, 1971) was an American businessman and politician. A member of the Republican Party, he served as a U.S. Representative (1943–1953) and a U.S. Senator (1953–1965) from Maryland.
Early life and education
J. Glenn Beall was born in Frostburg, Maryland, to Olin and Florence (née Glenn) Beall. He was a descendant of Colonel Ninian Beall, who immigrated from Scotland in 1658 as an indentured servant and eventually became wealthy landowner. His maternal grandfather served as a captain in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. As a child, Beall suffered from polio and underwent several operations before age 12; his left arm and leg were permanently withered. He received his early education at public schools in Frostburg, and then studied at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania.
Early business and political career
Beall briefly worked in a clerical capacity at the First National Bank of Frostburg. During World War I, he served in the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps (1918–1919), being discharged as a sergeant. He subsequently worked in the insurance and real estate business in Frostburg and Cumberland, establishing the Beall Insurance & Realty Company in 1919.
Beall began his political career as a member of the Allegany County Road Commission, serving in that position from 1923 to 1930. In 1926, he married Margaret Schwarzenbach (1900–2005), to whom he remained married until his death; the couple had three sons, including John Glenn Beall, Jr. He served one term in the Maryland State Senate, where he represented Allegany County, from 1930 to 1934. He then became a member of the Maryland State Roads Commission, serving as chairman from 1938 to 1939.
In 1942, after Democratic incumbent Katharine Byron decided to retire, Beall was elected as a Republican to the U.S. House of Representatives from Maryland's 6th congressional district. He defeated Democrat E. Brooke Lee, a former Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates, by a margin of 59%-40%. He was subsequently re-elected to four more terms. During his 10-year tenure in the House, he served on the committees on the District of Columbia, flood control, roads and public works.
In 1952, following the retirement of Democratic incumbent Herbert O'Conor, Beall was elected to the U.S. Senate from Maryland. He defeated Democrat George P. Mahoney, a former chairman of the State Racing Commission, by a margin of 52%-47%. His 449,823 votes were the largest number a Republican Senate candidate ever received in Maryland.
During his Senate career, Beall earned a reputation as a moderate Republican. In 1954, he served as chairman of a subcommittee of the Senate Banking and Currency Committee that investigated a dramatic rise in coffee prices. He supported home rule for the District of Columbia, ceasefire with China, and the creation of a national institute for medical research. He also introduced legislation to create an Inland Navigation Commission, to permit voluntary non-sectarian prayer in public schools, and to turn White Sand Island off the Maryland coast into a federal recreation area.
Beall was narrowly re-elected in 1954 after defeating Democrat Thomas D'Alesandro, Jr., the mayor of Baltimore and father of future House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, by a margin of 51%-49%. However, he was heavily defeated for a third time in 1964; he lost to Democrat Joseph D. Tydings, the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland (a position Beall's son George later held from 1970 to 1975), by a margin of 63%-37%.
Later life and death
Beall returned to Frostburg, where he resumed his insurance business. He also served as president of the League for Crippled Children of Allegany County, of the Cumberland Fair Association, and of the First National Bank of Western Maryland.
Beall died at age 76, and is buried in the Frostburg Memorial Park.