Local Obituaries

Automotive editor, reviewer Ron Beasley dies at 73

Ron Beasley wrote his auto column, ‘Let’s Talk Cars,’ for 14 years at Miami Community Newspapers
Ron Beasley wrote his auto column, ‘Let’s Talk Cars,’ for 14 years at Miami Community Newspapers Miami Community Newspapers

Ron Beasley knew cars and in his popular Let’s Talk Cars column he’d rev right to the point:

The Avalon is the best kept secret in the Toyota lineup, read his introductory line in a 2013 column.

The 2009 Infinity EX35 is a luxury crossover with a nice blend of style and performance, combining the look and feel of a luxury coupe with the flexibility of an SUV, read another.

“He was a legend in our office, old school,” said Community News publisher Grant Miller. “He had an old saying, ‘My work is done.’ He would stick his head in the door, put his hands on his hips, and say, ‘My work is done.’”

Beasley died at 73 on Oct. 4 at Jackson Memorial Hospital of complications from cancer.

Beasley’s Let’s Talk Cars, which gave readers exactly what they needed to know about the latest cars on the market, was a popular fixture for 14 years inside Miami Community Newspapers since the column’s inception in 2001. Beasley was an unabashed car lover — especially Corvettes, although the first two letters of his email address betrayed a particular fondness for the Jaguar XJ.

In 2013, he was honored with the Terry Jackson Memorial Award by the Southern Automotive Media Association that Beasley founded in 2007. “His vision led to the creation of the fastest-growing automotive media group in the country, and his dedication has helped keep our organization on the right path,” former SAMA president Jaime Florez said at the time. Jackson was a former auto writer and editor for the Miami Herald.

Born James Beasley on Jan. 5, 1942, in Jackson, Miss., Beasley grew up in Miami, graduating with the class of 1960 from Miami Edison High and the University of Miami in 1967. At UM, he founded the South Florida Sports Car Association, and served in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1960 to 1967.

Ron Beasley was a news producer for legendary South Florida anchorman Ralph Renick at WTVJ-Channel 4 in the late 1960s.

Beasley’s journalism career began with the Miami Herald in 1964. He wrote sports and business articles and, in 1966, moved over to the broadcast side, taking a job as a reporter and producer for several TV news shows. That gig lasted for 11 years. Among his higher profile roles: producer for Ralph Renick at WTVJ-Channel 4, when it was a CBS affiliate (now NBC 6), and at WPLG-Channel 10.

Beasley, who loved skiing, the music of John Coltrane, The Beatles and Eagles, had no children so he left money from his estate to fund a $10,000 annual scholarship for a journalism student at UM. A celebration of life will be at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club, 2990 S. Bayshore Dr.

Howard Cohen: 305-376-3619, @HowardCohen