Born in Utrecht Van Beuningen had a typical character referring to people from Rotterdam. He was a hard working man in the port of the city, which was the largest port in the world in those days. He was a well known celebrity not only in the city itself, but all over the country and in many other countries as well.
His father was co-founder of the Steenkolen Handels Vereniging, which became big during the World War I supplying both the English and German armies with coal. Van Beuningen led a large amount of companies in the port of Rotterdam and after the war he owned most of these companies and he became also active in the society. In 1937 he was one of the co-financial partners of the newly built Stadion Feijenoord, buying the ground where the stadium was built and was one of the founders for the Harbour Hospital in the city. During the World War II in 1941 he resigned. In 1954, several moths before his death in Arlesheim, Switzerland the Van Beuningen family was forced to withdraw completely out of the SHV Holdings as there was no replaceable family member to become director.
Van Beuningen was a collector of art from the 15th and 16th century out of the northern and southern parts of the Netherlands. During his life he gave several of his collections away to the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. During his life he married a total of three times. His first marriage was with Mies Schout Velthuys, but due to his hard work they hardly saw each other. She died in 1926 aged 43. A short second marriage to Odette Paule Fernande Ragoulleau ended up in a divorce. In 1938 he married for the third time, this time to Bep Charlouis.