Richard Beazley was born in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire. He studied Law at Exeter University and qualified as a Solicitor in 1974. He spent 25 years working in the international oil industry for Mobil Oil Corporation, as a lawyer, as an economist and as a chief executive; living in Oslo, Jakarta, Calgary, Toronto, New York, Washington and London, and travelling extensively elsewhere, particularly in Central Asia following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
He was Chairman of the East and North Herts NHS Hospital Trust for ten years from 2002, and for nine years from 2008 was on the board and Vice Chairman of the Florence Nightingale Foundation. He is Vice Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire and Honorary Colonel of the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Army Cadet Force.
He took up his appointment as Chairman of the University of Hertfordshire's Board of Governors on 1 September 2013.