November 5, 2000
Gould Means Beech was born May 5, 1913 in Florence. He majored in journalism at the University of Alabama, serving as editor of the Crimson White student newspaper. Beech wrote for the Anniston Star, Montgomery Advertiser and Southern Farmer and was determined to report honestly on racism and other social ills. Beech became acquainted with gubernatorial candidate James E. “Big Jim” Folsom and took over his campaign. Beech wrote Folsom’s speeches, arranged campaign appearances and helped Folsom to a surprise win in 1946. In 1950, Beech left the state for more than two decades after being publicly denounced as a leftist, a communist and a dangerous radical. When Beech returned to Alabama in the 1970s, many of the views for which he had been criticized had become mainstream. Beech died on Nov. 5, 2000 and was inducted into the UA College of Communication and Information Sciences Hall of Fame in 2002.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama or view a documentary about Gould Beech by The University of Alabama Center for Public Television.
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.