At the age of ninety-one, Robert Beale was still teaching. Born in Camden, New Jersey, on November 19, 1911, Beale moved with his family to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1919. After graduating from high school, Beale went to West Virginia State University in 1929, and graduated cum laude in 1932. From there he attended the University of Pennsylvania, earning his M.S. degree in chemistry in 1934. He returned to school at Penn State University, where he received his PhD in chemistry in 1942.
Beale began his teaching career at what is now known as Hutson-Tillotson College in Austin, Texas, working in the chemistry department. After serving as a teacher and administrator at eleven different colleges during his career, including North Carolina A&T, the University of Maryland and Virginia Union, Beale retired in 1986. In 1990, Beale returned to teaching in the Prince George's County School District after hearing there was a shortage of black male teachers.
He taught at Suitland High School and took students on an annual "college tour," a five-day trip to various colleges in the South. He stayed active in the lives of his students, going to meet with parents and encouraging his students to further their education. His daughter, Joy Beale Mitchell, worked with him, serving as a media specialist at the school. He also had a son, Robert Beale, Jr.
Beale passed away on October 9, 2006 at age 94.