Frederick Beckman, a charter member of AAACE, was born September 5, 1874 in Clayton, Iowa. Following graduation from the State University of Iowa, Iowa City, in 1897, he started his newspaper career with the Council Bluffs Nonpareil. From 1899 to 1902, he was a reporter for the Sioux City Journal, then returned to the Nonpareil. In 1903, he became managing editor of the Des Moines Register and Leader.
From 1911 until World War I, he headed the Department of Technical Journalism at Iowa State College, where he also served as experiment station editor. While at Iowa State, he started the first short courses for Iowa newspapermen, founded the Iowa State College Press Association and was active in campus YMCA work. During World War I, he served with the Army Educational Corps in France and Germany.
He left Iowa State in 1927 to become managing editor of the Farmer's Wife in St. Paul, Minnesota. When that magazine merged with the Farm Journal, he moved to Knoxville, Iowa to become editor of the Knoxville Journal, serving there until his death.
Beckman was a member of the National Council of the YMCA, was president of the Association of Teachers of Journalism, and was an honorary national president of the professional journalism society, Sigma Delta Chi. He was also active in Rotary International, serving as president in 1951-52. In 1952, he was honored by Iowa State when a bronze bust of him was presented to the College of Journalism by alumni and friends.
He died July 9, 1957, in Knoxville, Iowa at the age of 82.