Robert Beck (born Robert Lee Maupin or Robert Moppins, Jr.; August 4, 1918 – April 28, 1992), better known as Iceberg Slim, was an American pimp who subsequently became an influential author among a primarily African-American readership. Becks novels were adapted into movies, and the imagery and tone of Becks fiction have been acknowledged as an influence by several rap musicians, including Ice T and Ice Cube, whose names are homages to Beck.
Robert Maupin, an African-American, was born in Chicago, Illinois. He spent his childhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Rockford, Illinois, until he returned to Chicago. When his mother was abandoned by his father, she established a beauty shop and worked as a domestic[clarification needed] to support both of them in Milwaukee. In his autobiography, Maupin expressed gratitude to his mother for not abandoning him, as well. She earned enough money working in her salon to give her son the privileges of a middle-class life such as a college education, which at that time was difficult for the average person.
Slim attended Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama (it has been stated that he attended Tuskegee University at the same time as black author Ralph Ellison ), but having spent time in the street culture, he soon began bootlegging and was expelled as a result. After his expulsion, his mother encouraged him to become a criminal lawyer so that he could make a legitimate living while continuing to work with the street people he was so fond of, but Maupin, seeing the pimps bringing women into his mothers beauty salon, was far more attracted to the model of money and control over women that pimping provided.
According to his memoir, Pimp, Slim started pimping at 18 and continued that pursuit until age 42. The book claimed that during his career, he had over 400 women, both black and white, working for him. He said he was known for his frosty temperament, and at 62 and 180 lbs, he was indeed slim, and he had a reputation for staying calm in sticky