John Beardsley, retired CEO of Padilla Speer Beardsley, died last Thursday at the age of 73 due to complications from heart surgery. Beardsley began his career as a journalist with newspapers in South Dakota and Minnesota, and the Associated Press. He made the move to PR in 1968 and joined Padilla and Speer in 1979. He was added to the company name when he became chairman of the firm in 1987. He retired in 2001.
During his career, Beardsley also served as national president of the PRSA for four years and oversaw the media relations effort behind former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev’s 1990 visit to the Twin Cities.