Daniel Carter "Uncle Dan" Beard was an American illustrator, author, youth leader, and social reformer who founded the Sons of Daniel Boone in 1905, which Beard later merged with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).
Beard was born in Cincinnati, Ohio into a family of artists. As a youth, he explored the woods and made sketches of nature. He lived at 322 East Third Street in Covington, Kentucky near the Licking River, where he learned the stories of Kentucky pioneer life.
He started an early career as an engineer and surveyor. He attended art school in New York City. He wrote a series of articles for St. Nicholas Magazine that later formed the basis for the The American Boy's Handy Book. He was a member of the Student Art League, where he met and befriended Ernest Thompson Seton in 1883. He illustrated a number of books for Mark Twain, and for other authors such as Ernest Crosby.
Beard became the editor of Recreation magazine and wrote a monthly column for youth. He founded the Sons of Daniel Boone in 1905, basing it on American frontier traditions. He later moved his column to Woman's Home Companion. After conflicts with a new editor, he moved to the Pictorial Review. Since Women's Home Companion retained the rights to the name, he simply renamed the organization to Boy Pioneers of America.