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Phelan Beale, Jr.
Born Phelan Beale, Jr.
(1920-06-16)June 16, 1920
New York City, New York
Died June 26, 1993(1993-06-26) (aged 73)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Place of burial Forest Park Cemetery East, Houston, Texas
Nationality American
Other names Phe
Citizenship United States of America
Alma mater Columbia University
Occupation journalist, author, Oklahoma Employment Security Commission employee
Spouse(s) Rosella Ramsey
Children Michelle Beale
Parents Phelan Beale, Sr.
Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale
Relatives brother of Edith Bouvier Beale and Bouvier Beale
first cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill

Phelan Beale, Jr. (16 June 1920 – 26 June 1993)[1][2] was an American journalist and unemployment compensation law expert.[1] Beale was a son of Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale and a brother of Edith Bouvier Beale whose lives were highlighted in the documentary Grey Gardens. Beale was a first cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill.

Early life and education

Beale was born on 16 June 1920 in New York City, New York.[1][2] He was the middle child of Phelan Beale, Sr. and his wife Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale (known as "Big Edie").[1][2] Beale grew up at Grey Gardens at 3 West End Road in the wealthy Georgica Pond neighborhood in East Hampton on Long Island.[1] Beale was known as "Phe" to his friends and family.[2]

Beale was educated at the Westminster School for Boys in Simsbury, Connecticut.[1] He then attended Columbia University where he studied journalism.[1][2]

U.S. Army service

During World War II, Beale was drafted into the United States Army in 1942 and was sent to Camp Gruber near Braggs, Oklahoma.[1][2] He served in the Pacific Theater of Operations, participating in the battles of Saipan and Okinawa.[1][2] Beale was wounded in action and received two bronze battle stars and a Purple Heart for his service.[1][2]

Marriage and children

Beale married Rosella Ramsey on 26 December 1942 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.[1][2][3] He and Rosella met at a United Service Organizations dance in Tulsa in 1942 and eloped two weeks later.[3] Beale and his wife had one daughter, Michelle Beale.[1][2][3]

Public service career

Beale was employed with the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission in Tulsa and Oklahoma City for 30 years.[1][2] Following his retirement from the commission, Beale consulted on unemployment compensation law.[1][2]

Writing career

Beale was well known as an accomplished speaker and writer.[1][2] He delivered speeches to numerous organizations on a variety of subjects and wrote magazine and newspaper articles.[1][2] Throughout his writing career, Beale won hundreds of writing contests.[1][2] He later appeared in television commercials for MCI Communications.[1][2]


Beale was an American Kennel Club-licensed dog judge and toured the United States judging obedience trials.[1] Beale enjoyed fishing in Galveston, Texas.[1][2]

Grey Gardens

In 1971, Beale authored "The Maysley Brothers — is that their name?," an article that appeared in The Capital Times of Madison, Wisconsin.[2] In the article, Beale deplores the attention accorded his mother and sister at that time: "Such heartbreak and degradation…not the best publicity in the world for the family."[2] Beale noted that he would see Grey Gardens "out of curiousity."[2] Beale's younger brother Bouvier Beale sent him the documentary's reviews which Beale expressed made him decidedly unhappy about "those two people (who) made the movie."[2] In the article, Beale reminisced "the entertainment, the parties" at the Grey Gardens estate and his sister's coming out party at the Ritz-Carlton in New York City.[2] He referred to all these activities as "all that Great Gatsby stuff."[2] Beale wrote that his father refused his mother alimony and that there was a trust fund but that "trying to keep up that white elephant Grey Gardens is what ruined it."[2]


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