Manchester NH Athlete, Legendary Skiing Coach and Promoter, Sports Commentator & Hall of Famer: Robert P. “Bob” Beattie (1933-2018)

A youthful Bob Beattie in his favorite element.

A youthful Bob Beattie in his favorite element (1964).

Robert P. “Bob” Beattie was born 24 January 1933 in Manchester, New Hampshire, the son of Robert A. & Katherine S. (Prime) Beattie. He died 1 April 2018 in Fruita, Colorado.  He was raised in Manchester, attending the local schools, and graduated from Central High School in 1950. In 1940 his family was living at 97 Lexington Street in Manchester NH, and Robert Sr. worked as a salesman for a “roofing concern.”

Bob majored in education at Middlebury College in Middlebury Vermont, graduating in 1955. While there, he lettered in three sports: football, skiing, and tennis. In 1955 he competed in cross country skiing, and the following year he coached at Middlebury. In a February 1957 newspaper article about John M. Beattie and his brother Robert, the Burlington Free Press stated: “careful on pronouncing that last name. It’s Bee-ah-tee, with the accent on the ah.”

Bob Beattie

Bob Beattie, Legendary Ski Coach and Skiing Promoter.

In April of 1956 (or 1957), at the age of 23, Bob was named the ski coach at Colorado University in Boulder Colorado, where he replaced Tom Jacobs, who left to become Executive Director of the National Ski Association. While there Beattie’s skiers won the NCAA team championships in 1958 and 1959.

He was head coach of the U.S. Alpine Ski Team from 1961 to 1969 and co-founded the Alpine Skiing World Cup in 1966. The 1964 Olympics (held in Innsbruck, Austria) resulted in four medal winners, including the first two US men to receive medals–Jimmie Heuga and Billy Kidd.

Bob worked as a ski racing commentator for ABCs “Wide World of Sports,” and the notable events he commented on include four Winter Olympic Games from 1976 through 1988. In 1984 Bob served at ABC-TV’s alpine ski commentator in the Winter Olympics, along with broadcasters Jim McKay and Frank Gifford. He also was a commentator for ESPN for the national disabled ski championships.

In 1984 Bob Beattie was inducted into the National Ski Hall of Fame (now known as U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association). In 2012 Bob Beattie received lifetime achievement awards from both ISHA and the North American Snow Sports Journalists Association.

In 1999 Sports Illustrated magazine named Bob Beattie as #6 in the top 50 greatest sports figures from New Hampshire. (Ahead of him on the list were 1. Carlton Fisk, 2. Jenny Thompson, 3. Mike Flanagan, 4. Lynn Jennings, 5. Red Rolfe.)

Bob Beattie has been involved in most of the major skiing organizations, according to the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum Hall of Fame, including being “President of World Wide Ski Corporation, founder and Executive Director of the World Pro Racing Tour, Executive Director of the International Ski Racers Association, Commissioner of NASTAR, and founder of Bob Beattie Summer Racing camps at Mt. Bachelor.” He also organized “such national ski racing programs as the Michelob Light Town Challenge and Appleton Rum Runs

Bob is the author of several books on skiing and ski racing: The Golden Ski Guide, 1966; Bob Beattie’s Learn to Ski, 1967; My Ten Secrets of Skiing 1968; Bob Beattie’s Guide to Ski Racing, 1971; Pocket Book of Survival: Don’t Panic Be Prepared Stay Safe in the Great Outdoors, 2005. He also produced at least one video:  “Ski Colorado Videotrip 1986.”

**Additional Reading**

RetroSki: Bob Beattie

2015- Bob Beattie on the state of US Ski Racing


Robert Beatty, b abt 1707 poss Antrim Ireland, died 9 May 1779 in Little Britain, Orange Co. NY. He married abt 1748 in Little Britain, Orange Co. NY to Mary McLoughry. She was b in 1711 and d. 1776. His will was written 30 July 1776, and proved in Newburgh, Ulster Co. NY 18 May 1779.
Children of Robert & Mary McLoughry) Beatty:
1. Anne Beatty
2. Elizabeth Beatty
3. Jane Beatty
4. John Beatty
5. Mary Beatty
6. Thomas Beatty
7. +Robert Beatty 1750-1831
8. Francis Beatty 1759-1826

Robert Beattie, son of Robert & Mary (McLoughry) Beatty, b. abt 1750 in NY and d abt 1831 in Orange Co. NY. He married 9 Dec 1773 to Jane Crowell. In 1790-1830 residing in Newburgh NY. Private in the 2nd Regiment Ulster Co. NY Militia, Corporal in the 2nd Regiment, Ulster Co New York Militia under Col. James McClaughry. [SAR Application of descendant, Raphael Ashton Weed.]
[Note: Information on this segment of the Beatty family from – owner: rodpenn2012 aka Rod Pennington]
Children of Robert & Jane (Crowell) Beattie:
1. Hannah Beatty 1773-1816
2. Robert Beatty 1777-1811; m. Susan Hill
3. Mary Beattie 1778-1849
4. William Clark Beattie 1780-1863
5. +John Beattie 1780-1866
6. Israel Beatty 1784-1793
7. James Beattie 1786-1871
8. Thomas Beattie 1789-1856; moved to Oakland Co MO c1830.
9. Francis Smith Beattie 1794-1841

John Beattie, son of Robert & Jane/Jean (Crowell) Beatty, b. 14 April 1780 in Orange Co. NY, and died 2 Jan 1866 in Newburgh, Orange Co. NY; he m1) 1808 to Sarah Haines. She b. 1790/1794 and d. 8 April 1823. He m2) after 1824 to Elizabeth “Eliza” McKinney. He m3) after 1831 to Rachel Kelso
Children of John & Sarah (Haines) Beattie:
1. Robert Jackson Beattie 1808-1870; m. Sally Ann Christ; moved to Oakland Co. Michigan c1830.
2. James H. Beattie 1809-1811
3. + James Milligan Beattie, b. 24 Sep 1811
4. Achsah Beattie 1814-1853
5. Israel Oakley Beattie 1816-1882
6. Susan M. Beattie 1818-1891
7. Sarah J. Wear 1821-1892
8. John F. Beattie 1823-1881
9. Mary Roberts Beattie 1823-1877
Children of John & Elizabeth M. (McKinney) Beattie
10. Elizabeth Beattie 1825-1862
11. Joseph Beattie 1830-1883
12. Elijah McKinney Beattie 1830-1833

Rev. James Milligan Beattie, son of John & Sarah (Haines) Beattie, b 24 Sep 1811 Montgomery, Orange Co. NY d 9 March 1883/1884 in Ryegate, Caledonia Co. VT; He m. 24 Dec 1856 in Ryegate VT to Margaret Sophia Nelson, dau of John & Mary (Finlay) Nelson. She b. 15 April 1830 in Ryegate VT, and died August 1907 in Woodsville NH. James occupation, Minister, on his son James’ death record. He is buried in Blue Mountain Cemetery, Ryegate VT. In 1872 he was the only settled pastor in Rygate VT.
The St. Johnsbury Caledonian, St. Johnsbury VT 28 Aug 1907. RYEGATE. Mrs. Margaret S. Battie. Margaret Sophia Nelson, whose death was mentioned last week, was born in Ryegate April 15, 1828, the fifth in a family of nine children, only two of whom survive her, Elizabeth, Mrs. King of Corydon, Iowa, and James Nelson of Dexter, Iowa. She was educated in the common schools and graduated from Newbury Seminary. Dec. 24, 1856, she became the wife of Rev. James M. Beattie, a Reformed Presbyterian, who occupied the pulpit in this place for 40 years, his wife proving herself most able and efficient in assisting her husband in all his labors in the ministry. He passed to the higher life March 8, 1884. TO this venerable couple were born six children: ELizabeth A., John J., William J., Joseph N., Mary S., and Jas. Remick Wilson, three of whom survive, Dr. William J., a well known physician at Littleton, N.H., J.R. Wilson, a merchant at Woodsville, and Mary S., wife of Dr. William G. Ricker of Wells River. Mrs. Beattie was a devoted member and earnest worker in the church of her choice. After the death of her husband she connected herself with the United Presbyterian society of this place and by the same faithfulness and zeal has been of great service and her influence will be felt in many years to come. Mrs. Beattie was much interested in the cause of temperance, was an active member of the Ladies’ Missionary society of this place. She had been the president of the society for thirteen years and not only was a faithful and excellent officer, but her heart and hand were in the work. She was a liberal giver and possessed the faculty of encouraging others to help in the good work. The society realize they have met with a severe loss and that there is a vacancy which will be hard to fill. The family and relatives have the heartfelt sympathy of hosts of friends. Funeral services held in the church Wednesday afternoon were largely attended. The pastor, Rev. J.A. McKirahan, officiated, assisted by Rev. F.A. Collins of West Charlton, NY and Rev. W.S. Wallace of South Ryegate. The flowers were many and beautiful. Interment was in the family lot in Ryegate cemetery.
Children of James M. & Margaret L. (Nelson) Beattie:
1. Elizabeth Annott Beattie, b. 11 May 1859 Ryegate VT, d. 7 July 1860 Ryegate VT
2. John James Beattie, b. 6 January 1863, d. 24 Oct 1896/97; m. 1885 to Elizabeth Cameron Stuart. Had children: (1) Charles Stuart Beattie, b. Stuart, Guthrie Co. Iowa 9 Oct 1889; Grace Beattie, b. 1887, d. 1915
3. William Johnston Beattie, b. 6 Sep 1865; physician of Littleton NH.
4. Joseph Nelson Beattie b 1 December 1870, d. 9 April 1871
5. Mary Sophia Beattie, b. 6 March 1872, twin; m. Dr. William G. Ricker
6. +James Renwick Wilson Beattie, b. 6 March 1872 in Ryegate VT, twin; m. 3 Aug 1893 in Ryegate VT to Blanche Nelson Miller; m2) 28 Jan 1901 in Boston MA to the same woman. A merchant at Woodsville NH.

James Renwick Wilson Beattie, son of James M. & Margaret L. (Nelson) Beattie, b. 6 March 1872 Rygate Vermont; d. 21 June 1929 at Haverhill NH. He was a conductor in Boston and also ran an “auto livery,” later called a taxi business. He married 1st) 3 Aug 1893 in Ryegate VT to Blanche Nelson Miller. They divorced; He married 2nd) 28 Jan 1901 in Boston, Suffolk MA to Blanche N. (Miller) Beattie, daughter of Archibald A. & Isabel Jean “Ibbie” (Nelson) Miller, as her 2nd husband. She b. July 1876 in Dorchester MA, d. after 1945 possibly in Manchester NH. She is found in 1940 living at the Carpenter Hotel, a clerk at Leavitt Co; in 1945 living at the Carpenter Hotel no occupation. At the time of his son Archibald’s birth they were living at 90 St. Botolph Street in Boston, and he was working at a billiard room. He was buried in Rygate Corner Cemetery, Rygate VT.
1900 US Census > Vermont > Caledonia Co. > Rygate
Arch A Miller Head M 64 Vermont b Sep 1836
Ibbie Jean Miller wife F 47 Vermont b July 1853
Blanche Beattie daughter F 24 Massachusetts Divorced b July 1876
Robert A. Miller son M 20 Vermont b Sep 1880
Ibbie Jean Beattie granddaughter F 6 Vermont b. Feb 1894
Harley A. Prince servant M 29 Can-Engl Eng Eng b June 1871
1910 US Census > NH > Grafton > Haverhill > Elm Street
Beattie, James R Head M W 38 m1x 74 yrs VT Scotland VT; retail merchant, general store
Beatttie, Blanch M wife M[F] W 34 m1x 4 ch 3 living MA VT VT 4 ch 3 living
Beattie, Ibbiejean daughter M [F] W 16 single VT VT MA
Beattie, Blanch M dau M [F[ W 8 single MA VT MA
Beattie, Robert A. son W M 5 single MA VT MA
Children of James W. & Blanche N. (Miller) Beattie:
1. Ibbie Jean Beattie, b Feb 1894 Ryegate VT; d. 20 Oct 1910 in Ryegate VT, aged 16
2. James Milligan Beattie, b. 1895 Ryegate, Caledonia Co. VT, d. 1896
3. Blanch Miller Beattie, b. 16 February 1902, Boston, Suffolk MA; she m. 16 June 1928 in Haverhill NH to Milton C. Bradley, son of Harry B. & Addie R. (Corliss) Bradley
4. +Archibald Robert (aka Robert Archibald) Beattie, b. 20 May 1904 Boston, Suffolk MA

Archibald Robert aka Robert Archibald Beattie, son of James W. & Blanche N. (Miller) Beattie, b. 20 May 1904 in Boston MA and d. February 1975 in Laconia, NH aged 70; he married 20 June 1931 in Laconia NH to Katherine Simpson “Catherine” Prime, daughter of Herbert Orman & Harriette (Simpson) Prime. She b. 5 November 1906 in Portsmouth NH and d. 16 October 1995 in Boulder, Colorado. [SSDI]. She is buried in Union Cemetery, Laconia NH. In 1940 he was living at 97 Lexington Avenue in Manchester NH. By 1945 he moved to 180 Saw Street in Manchester NH.
1940 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester > 97 Leighton Avenue
Robert A. Beattie Head M 35 Massachusetts C4 salesman, roofing concern
Katherine P. Beattie wife F 33 NH c1
Robert P. Beattie son M 7 NH
John M. Beattie son M 5 NH
Rubie Currier Maid F 22 NH h4 previously living Franklin NH
Children of Robert A. & Katherine S. (Prime) Beattie:
1. +Robert P. “Bob” Beattie, b. 24 January 1933 in Manchester, New Hampshire. [see story above]
2. John M. Beattie, b. abt 1935 NH


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7 Responses to Manchester NH Athlete, Legendary Skiing Coach and Promoter, Sports Commentator & Hall of Famer: Robert P. “Bob” Beattie (1933-2018)

  1. Ann Chiampa says:

    I had no idea he was from Manchester. As a skiing enthusiast, I enjoyed Bob’s commentary on ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” and watching “the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat.”

  2. Amy says:

    I didn’t know Carlton Fisk was from NH! When do we get his genealogy? 🙂

    • Janice Brown says:

      He wasn’t on my todo quick list, but I suppose I could bump him up if you have a special interest, Amy lol. He was “from” New Hampshire but not a native. He was a Vermonter. We are really picky who we consider natives, they must be born here. Though I am sure many would like to claim him. He DID go to school and later live in New Hampshire.

      • Amy says:

        Well, I have no family interest. But when he hit that home run in 1975, it was the most exciting baseball moment I’d ever experienced. I was in my first semester of law school, feeling totally stressed, and baseball was such a wonderful escape. I was immediately converted from a Mets fan to a Red Sox fan, and I’ve been a loyal member of Red Sox Nation ever since! But no reason to spend time on him if he was a Vermonter! 🙂

        • Janice Brown says:

          Well he was born in Vermont but his parents were born and lived some time in New Hampshire. He attended schools there and then raised his own family there. I suppose we will have to make an exception for him lol. His Fisk line was pretty easy to trace, I did it tonight.

  3. Lucy Heft says:

    Bob you are missed in the skiing industry, I REALLY miss your commentating on the Alpine events at the olympics. Bode is a great skier and full of information but we are falling asleep with his talking, He needs lessons from you. Miss your excitement and voice during the race. From a NH girl.

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