George G. Beasley of Naples, Florida, passed away on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 at the age of 89. George was born in Ararat, Virginia, on April 9, 1932 to the late Mary Epperson and Murray Beasley. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. While best known for his trailblazing achievements in the radio broadcasting industry, he will be most remembered for his humility, kindness, integrity, work ethic and love of family and friends. As a young man, George enlisted in the U.S. Army in March of 1953 and joined the Signal Corps, where he was promoted to Sergeant and taught cryptography at Camp Gordon in Augusta, Georgia. Upon completing his military service, George attended college through the G.I. Bill at Appalachian State University and earned a B.A and M.A. in Education. A true trailblazer and entrepreneur, his passion for radio began while serving as a high school principal at Dan River High School. Inspired by a commitment to provide a ‘voice for the voiceless’ in the local community, George built his first radio station (WPYB-AM) in Benson in 1961. He eventually went on to pursue broadcasting as a full-time career, serving as Chief Executive Officer and growing Beasley Media Group to become one of the most respected publicly traded media companies today, consisting of 62 radio properties located in 15 large and medium-sized markets across the United States, digital offerings and an esports division. While George stepped back from the day-to-day operations in 2016, he continued to serve as Chair of the Company’s Board of Directors. A respected leader and pioneer in the radio industry, George served on the board of the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters (NCAB) for eight years as President, Vice President and as a member of the Board of Directors. In 1996, he received the NCAB’s organization’s Distinguished Service Award and was inducted into NCAB’s Hall of Fame in 1998 upon receiving the prestigious Distinguished Broadcaster of North Carolina Award. In 2019, he was inducted into the Pennsylvania Broadcasters Hall of Fame. George received numerous awards and accolades throughout his life. He was inducted into the Country Radio Broadcasters Hall of Fame and received the Broadcasters Foundation of America Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020. In addition, George was recognized as a “Giant” by the Library of American Broadcasting in 2012 and received the National Association of Broadcasters’ National Radio Award in 2015. The Florida Association of Broadcasters named him Broadcaster of the Year in 2011, the Country Radio Broadcasters awarded George with the Tom Rivers Humanitarian Award in 2010 and the Nevada Broadcasters Association inducted him into the organization’s Hall of Fame in 2008. The radio pioneer was recognized by his alma mater, Appalachian State University (ASU) in 1990 as one of the institution’s Distinguished Alumni, where he served as Chairman of the Appalachian State University Foundation Board of Directors and as a member of the Appalachian State University Board of Trustees for many years. George was most proud of the George G. Beasley Media Complex located on campus to provide future generations of ASU students with the ability to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams in broadcasting. He is survived by his wife, Shirley Ann; their five children, Caroline, Dr. Robert (Deborah) of Miami, Florida, Bruce (Teresa) of Fort Myers, Florida, Brian (Trina Jones) of Bonita Springs, Florida, and Brad (Lisa) of Bonita Springs; and sister, Louise Beasley Guynn; as well as 16 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, June 12, at 11 a.m. at Moody Funeral Home in Mount Airy, with the Rev. Buford Jessup officiating. Burial will follow in the Unity Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Ararat, Virginia, with military honors by the VFW Memorial Honor Guard, Pilot Mountain Post 9436 and Mount Airy Post 2019 as well as Masonic Rites by the Pilot Mountain Lodge #493 AF & AM. The family will receive friends on Saturday from 10 – 11 a.m. at the funeral home.
Published by Mount Airy News from Jun. 10 to Jun. 11, 2021.