Charles E. Beatley

Charles “Chuck” Beatley was born in Ohio and earned an economics degree and an MBA from Ohio State University. His job as an airline pilot flying in and out of National Airport brought him to Alexandria. In 1945 he met and married Marjorie Perry, and they lived in Old Town while he built their home in the Seminary Hill area.


Beatley helped organize the Seminary Hill Association and served as president for three years. He went on to serve on the City Council as a Democrat  in 1966, then as mayor from 1967 to 1976. Although he had retired from both United Airlines and politics in 1976, Beatley was urged to run for mayor again in 1979 by both Democrats and Republicans. He won the election and served as  mayor until 1985.


Beatley encouraged historic preservation in Old Town and was a catalyst for the renewal of the downtown business district. He is responsible for many of the features which make Old Town so distinctive, from the waterfront development of parks and private projects, to the brick sidewalks, underground utility lines and colonialstyle street lamps. As mayor, Beatley was an enthusiastic supporter of the Torpedo Factory Art Center, a major cultural attraction in Alexandria. He pushed for the new courthouse building on King Street, the renovation of City Hall, and proposed a large, central library to be built in the West End.

Beatley was the city’s representative on the Metro board for eight years and was instrumental in bringing Metro to Alexandria. He also encouraged the development of the local DASH bus system and helped create Fort Ward Park and the Alexandria campus of Northern Virginia Community College. Tireless in his work, Chuck Beatley has been motivated by his love for Alexandria.