John W. Beecroft graduated from the Wisconsin Normal school at Superior in 1921. He graduated Columbia U, 1924. Beecroft first worked for Crowell Publishing Co, writing reader's guides to Eliot's Five Foot Shelf of Books. He was hired at the Literary Guild (founded 1927), where he first began as editor of Wings, the monthly bulletin of the book club. He left the Guild briefly during the depression, working for Paramount Newsreel. Beecroft rejoined the Literary Guild in 1937 as Editor in Chief, a position he retained until his retirement in 1962. He selected such best sellers as A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and To Kill a Mockingbird. Beecroft's first choice at the Literary Guild was Liam O'Flaherty's Famine.
John Beecroft married Melinda Pollen Schmidt in 1940. He was a member of the University Club in New York. He served on the American Council of Books in Wartime with Virginia Kirkus, Amy Loveman, Donald Gordon, Francis Ludlow, Meridith Wood and WW Norton, and acted as American judge of the international committee, All-Nations Prize Novel Competition, 1938-1939.