Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Robert Lee Maupin  

Pen Name: Robert Beck, Robert Maupin Beck and Iceberg Slim

Genre: Fiction Non-Fiction

Born: August 4, 1918 in Chicago, Illinois

Sites:


Illinois Connection

He was born in and lived in Chicago, Illinois until he was 43 years old.

Biographical and Professional Information

Maupin was a writer and lecturer. He attended the prestigiuous Tuskegee Institute and was reported to have an IQ of 175. From 1937-1962 he worked as a manager of prostitutes. After spending time in prison, he moved to Los Angeles and kicked his heroin habit on his own. He then married and had children and worked as an insecticide salesman in the mid 60's. After meeting a college professor during a sale, the professor convinced him to collaborate on a book of his life story with him. After finding out that his share of the royalties would be very small, Maupin decided to write his own book before the professor could finish his. Maupin was once believed to be the best-selling African American writer ever - with more than six million copies of his books sold by the time of his death. Josh Friedman referred to the author as "a savagely gifted storyteller, whose paperback novels sold in unpresedented numbers in the ghettos. He wrote flagrantly in the pre-Ebonics lingo of Chicag's South Side - which even today repels the upwardly mobile Black middle class. Iceberg's books contain glossaries of underworld Negro slang that went out with minstrel shows and burnt cork blackface."Maupin's books have been translated into foreign languages. His book ''Trick Baby'' was adapted as a film by Larry Yust. The film rights for ''Pimp: The Story of My Life'', were purchased by Universal Pictures.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Pimp. The Story Of My Life
ISBN: 0870671391

Holloway House. 1970

Trick Baby
ISBN: 0870679333

Holloway House Publishing Company. 2004

A novel set among the hustlers of southside Chicago tells the story of an extraordinary con artist called "White Folks," a light-haired, blue-eyed, white-skinned black man.

Naked Soul of Iceberg Slim
ISBN: 0870679368

Holloway House. 2000

The Naked Soul searches the artist's soul in a collection of personal essays that are full of passion and razor sharp perception.

Airtight Willie & Me
ISBN: 0870679325

Holloway House. 2004

Tells the stories of hustlers, dealers, and prostitutes and their lives on the streets.

Long White Con
ISBN: 0870679309

Holloway House Publishing Company. 2005

"White Folks," a light-skinned, blue-eyed black con man, plans his most ambitious caper.

Doom Fox
ISBN: 0802135889

Grove Press. 1998

Doom Fox is the last in Iceberg Slim's legendary series of underground novels. Written in 1978 and unpublished until now, Doom Fox is a tale of the Los Angeles ghetto that begins just after World War II and spans the next thirty years. In the no-holds-barred tradition of Chester Himes, Doom Fox captures a violent, vivid world of low-riding chippie-catchers, prizefighters, prostitutes, and smooth-talking preachers.

Mama Black Widow
ISBN: 0870679317

Holloway House. 2004

"One of the most exciting literary revival series since the rediscovery of Jim Thompson's novels" (Playboy), Old School Books "is subtly transforming the landscape of post-war black fiction" (Bomb).

"Mama Black Widow" is the nickname of Otis Tilson, a comely and tragic black queen adrift with his brothers and sisters in the dark ghetto world of pimpdom and violent crime. His story is told in the gut-level language of the homosexual underworld--an unforgettable testament of life lived on the margins of a racist and predatory urban hell.

Death Wish
ISBN: 0870679341

Holloway House. 2008

The story of Chicago's Mafia, and the power struggle that ensues when the greedy Don, Jimmy Collucci, attempts to become the king pin of Chicago's "Honored Society". Collucci has a lifelong hatred of dedicated "Black Warrior" Jessie Taylor, whom he has faced in turf wars in the streets of Chicago.