He was educated at Winchester College and at Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating with First Class Honours in Mathematics in 1949 and gaining a Diploma in Mathematical Statistics in 1950. He then joined the Mathematics Group at the UK Admiralty Research Laboratory, working under Stephen Vajda for 11 years, except for a leave of absence in 1957/8 to assist the Statistical Techniques Research Group at the University of Princeton.  In 1955 he extended George Dantzig's Simplex Algorithm to minimise a quadratic function.
He was Chairman of the Mathematical Programming Society from 1974 to 1976, Vice President of the Royal Statistical Society from 1978 to 1980, a Fellow of the British Computer Society, and a member of the International Statistical Institute. In 1979, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society "for his applications of mathematical and statistical techniques to industrial problems and for his contributions to the theory of mathematical programming", and he was elected to the Council of the Royal Society in 1984. He was awarded the Silver Medal of the Operational Research Society in 1980, and became Vice President of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications. He was also non-executive Chairman of Beale International Technology.
The Times suggested that he "used his blend of theory and state-of-the-art practice to encourage several generations of young mathematicians and computer scientists," and that his "many papers and his seminal book Mathematical Programming in Practice were major influences in their field, with their succinctness and clarity."
- The Mathematical Programming Society awards the "Beale–Orchard-Hays" Prize in memory of him and William Orchard-Hays.
- The Operational Research Society awards the Beale Medal for "the most outstanding sustained contribution to Operational Research".
- A two-day symposium was held in his memory at the Royal Society in 1987.
- The book Questions of Truth is dedicated to him and Ruth Polkinghorne.
- He makes a cameo appearance in E.M. Delafield's A Provincial Lady Goes Further.
- Mathematical Programming in Practice, Pitman Publishing, London, 1968
- Introduction to Optimization, John Wiley & Sons, 1988, ISBN 0-471-91760-5, based on his lecture notes and working papers at Scicon and edited by his former colleague Lynne Mackley. 
Beale was a son of Muriel Rebecca Beale OBE, who was a descendant of General Sir John Slade, a grandniece of Edmond Warre, and a first cousin of Madelaine Slade. He was survived by his wife and three children.
- http://rsbm.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/33/22.full.pdf http://www.jstor.org/pss/769945
- C-E-I-R handbook new approaches to management control, Jan 1963, p10 http://sciconconnect.com/index.php?option=com_morfeoshow&task=view&gallery=3&Itemid=24
- Optima 18, p1 http://www.mathopt.org/Old-Optima-Issues/optima18.pdf
- Obituary in The Times Dec 28 1985, p8
- Beale, E. M. L. (1955). "On Minimizing a Convex Function Subject to Linear Inequalities". Journal of the Royal Statistical Society 17 (2): 173–184. JSTOR 2983952. The extension also applied to other convex functions and to linear programming with random variables.
- http://sciconconnect.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=23&Itemid=42 Scicon was later sold to System Designers in the 1990s, and eventually to EDS
- See bio in Introduction to Optimization.
- MPS Beale-Orchard-Hays Prize
- OR Society website on Beale Medal
- Announcement in ACM SIGNUM Newsletter
- Questions of Truth dedication page
- "Who's Who in EM Delafield"
- Google Scholar results
- Obituary of Muriel Rebecca Beale OBE in The Independent Dec 28 1993 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-betsy-beale-1469613.html