||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (December 2010)|
|Born||1954 (age 58–59)|
|Occupation||journalist and columnist|
|Alma mater||Yale University|
Beam grew up in Washington, D.C., as his father Jacob D. Beam was a diplomat. Beam attended Phillips Exeter Academy, where he was Foreign Correspondent for the twice-weekly school newspaper, The Exonian, and graduated from Yale University  in 1975. He helped establish a small weekly newspaper in Ludlow, Vermont, The Black River Tribune.
Beam worked at Newsweek and BusinessWeek, where his tenure included Boston and Moscow bureau chief, before joining the Boston Globe. His twice-weekly column for the Globe has appeared since 1987. He was a John Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University in 1996-1997.
In addition to his journalistic work, Beam is the author of two novels set in Russia, Fellow Travelers (1987) and The Americans Are Coming! (1991), both published by St. Martin's Press. He has also published two works of non-fiction. Gracefully Insane: Life and Death Inside America's Premier Mental Hospital, which explored the history of McLean Hospital, was published in January 2002. His second non-fiction book, about the Great Books movement, A Great Idea at the Time: the Rise, Fall and Curious Afterlife of the Great Books, was published in 2008. Both were named Notable Books in the annual list compiled by the New York Times Book Review.
In December, 2010, Beam wrote an article in the Globe about Liverpool Football Club's supporters, criticizing them for continuing to mourn the deaths of 96 supporters during the Hillsborough disaster, which he called a "riot". He also referred to the city as doggy' and 'grotty'. The reaction to Beam's column reached the UK's Daily Mail, and was the subject of criticism by Liverpool's supporters. Responding to this on an independent fan site, Alan Farlie stated that "the reason people are still "agonising" is that there are many who lost family and friends on a bright summer's day. There are still many who were at Hillsborough that day and who remember being crushed as their fellow fans died around them, crushed to death, because of failures in organisation and policing." The Globe later issued a correction to the online version of the article, acknowledging that the disaster was not a riot, and that the official investigation blamed poor crowd control and inadequate stadium design.
- Staff report (July 2000). Who's Who. Stanford Magazine
- Boston Globe Article (September 6, 2008). School Wasn't Prepped for this Scandal.Boston Globe
- Cohn, Bob (September 1997). Digging into the Past. Stanford Magazine
- Staff report (February 2002). In Print. Yale Alumni Magazine
- Birnbaum, Robert. "Interview: Alex Beam." Identitytheory.com. URL accessed March 12, 2007.
- PBS American Experience Forum Participants. PBS. URL accessed March 12, 2007.
- Williamson, Laura (8 December 2010). "American columnist blasts 'bonkers' Liverpool fans for mourning Hillsborough 'riot'". Daily Mail. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
- Beam, Alex (7 December 2010). "Hardball in Liverpool". Boston Globe. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
- Alex Beam columns via Boston Globe