Beard was educated at Neepawa schools, and worked in a variety of projects in northern Manitoba. He served as President of Norrec Ltd., and Secretary of Arctic Investments Ltd., as well as becoming President of the Northern Restaurants Association through a hotel project that he owned. He served in the Canadian Army from 1942 to 1945, attaining the rank of Sergeant.
Beard was first elected to the Manitoba legislature in January 1963, in a deferred race from the 1962 general election. Running in the vast northern constituency of Churchill, he defeated Liberal candidate Francis Bud Jobin by 197 votes. He was re-elected by a greater margin in the 1966 election.
He resigned from the Progressive Conservative Party and stepped down as an MLA in 1968, complaining that the PC government was neglecting northern affairs. He ran as an independent in the 1969 election, and narrowly defeated three other candidates to regain the Churchill riding.
For the next three years, Beard was a legitimately independent MLA -- siding with or against the NDP government of Edward Schreyer on a case-by-case basis. He died in 1972. He had two children, Holly Christine Beard and William Fredrick Beard.