Megan Anne Bevan
1958 – 2004
Megan Anne Bevan was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, June 16, 1958, the youngest child of John M. Bevan and Louise Dabbs Bevan. She graduated from Swarthmore College in 1980 and moved to Washington, DC to join the staff of National Geographic. Beginning as a writer-researcher in Educational Media and Educational Films she was on the ground floor as a senior scriptwriter for the newly launched National Geographic Explorer series. She was quickly promoted to Associate Producer for Explorer’s host studio shoots.
Known not only for her personal integrity, but also as an embodiment of the National Geographic institutional ethos, Megan was the logical choice to create, then direct Explorer’s Research Department from 1986 to 1990. In 1991 she took over management of Explorer studio production, a complex job involving studio production between Washington, DC, and New York, annually directing a crew of directors, script writers, and set designers. Her gentle nature was put to the test as she was responsible for managing on-air talent, from Bob Ballard to Robert Ulrich. Her ability to understand many different points of view and remain steadfastly unflappable under pressure was a critical attribute that qualified her for this position.
Megan was promoted to Vice President for all National Geographic broadcast and syndicated series which included numerous series domestically and extensive international distribution in a period of worldwide expansion for National Geographic Television. Megan became an integral part of the programming team that developed the schedule line-up for the launch of the National Geographic Channel, now one of the fastest growing cable channels in the U.S. market.
Tim Kelly, President, NGT, and long-time colleague from the beginning of Megan’s career at National Geographic said, “During her time here, Megan mastered every challenge that came her way. She was dedicated, funny, and most of all, a kind person who everyone was pleased to work with. She was the most knowledgeable person on the planet about the extensive National Geographic motion picture library. Megan enriched our lives with her grace and good will and she will be remembered and sorely missed by her colleagues around the world.”
Megan is remembered by her family and friends for her wonderful sense of humor. Christmas was particularly entertaining as she spent the entire year collecting unique and funny gifts as she duplicated her father’s joy by splurging on other people. Masterful at verbal one-liners, she would create drama and entertainment in playful games and spoofs.
Megan died on July 29, 2004, from leiomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer. She was 47 years old. The diagnosis was unexpected with no clinical explanation. Health conscious all of her life, she ate and exercised with the same attention to her body as she’d given to her job. She attacked the disease with determination, fortitude, and a sense of humor for three years. Sometimes believing that she could beat it, sometimes believing that she couldn’t, she made a point of doing the things she cared about with the people she loved. Ultimately her body refused to cooperate. Throughout it all, she tried to reassure those around her who were overcome with grief. Once asked what was the hardest part of being the baby in the family, she responded, “Watching your family members die before you do.” It is with great irony and sadness that she preceded all but her father in death.