American Football Database
William E. Beard
Vanderbilt CommodoresNo. N/A
Quarterback Graduate
Major: {{{major}}}
Date of birth: (1873-07-12)July 12, 1873
Place of birth: Estill Springs, Tennessee
Career history
*Vanderbilt (1890–1893)
Career highlights and awards
*1st Vanderbilt quarterback to play Tennessee.

William Ewing Beard (July 12, 1873 – December 21, 1950) was a college football player, soldier, journalist, war correspondent, naval historian, and long-time officer of the Tennessee Historical Commission and member of the Tennessee Historical Society.[1][2] He wrote several books on Nashville and dubbed Vanderbilt University the Commodores.

Early years

Beard was born on July 12, 1873 in Estill Springs, Tennessee to Richard Beard, a Confederate captain, and Marie Dromgoole, of Estill Springs, Tennessee.[3] He attended Vanderbilt from 1890 to 1893.[2] In 1892 Beard was the first Vanderbilt quarterback to play Tennessee.[4]


Beard joined the staff of the Nashville American in 1896.[2][5] In 1897 he was the first to dub Vanderbilt the Commodores.[6][7][8] While at the American, Beard employed former Vandy player Bob Blake.[9]

Beard became the state news editor of the Banner in 1910, promoted to associated editor in 1933.[3]


  • It Happened in Nashville. 1912.
  • The Battle of Nashville. 1913.
  • Red Letter Days in Nashville. 1925.
  • Nashville, the Home of History Makers. 1929.
  • Andrew Jackson: Man of Destiny. 1942.
  • Nashville, a memoir. 1943.
  • Men Make the Navy: Recruiting of 17-year-olds Recalls Fact Most American Naval Heroes Joined Service in 'teens. 1943.


External links