The woman who helped propel bestselling street fiction author Robert “Iceberg Slim” Beck into literary fame has died. Betty Mae Beck had begun preparing a memoir about her life with Iceberg Slim before she passed away last week due to prolonged illness.
Born in Austin, Texas, Betty Beck met Iceberg Slim in California where they became a couple and eventually had two daughters together. By 1969, she had assisted Beck in writing and publishing "Pimp: The Story of My Life," which influenced author Donald Goines and many writers who followed.
“It took us a great deal of time and work to get to that point,” Betty Beck recalled. “Hell, it took us a lot of getting to know each other and figuring out how we would make a life together, let alone figuring out how to get Bob’s name on the map… A man who people called ‘Iceberg Slim,’ you might imagine, wasn’t always the easiest fellow to live with.”
Betty Beck collaborated on other Slim books, including "Trick Baby," which became a film. Mrs. Beck is featured in the forthcoming documentary "Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp," featuring actor and rapper Ice T.