Mary Clara Beck

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Mary Clara Beck (Janssen)

Birthplace: Iowa, United States
Death: May 15, 1979 (41)
Puget Sound, Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington, United States (Drowned)
Place of Burial: Mount Vernon, Skagit County, Washington, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Edward Lee Janssen and Clara Janssen
Ex-wife of William A. Beck
Mother of Glenn Beck; Private and Private

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Mary Clara Beck

Mary Clara Beck (Janssen) was born in Iowa and died in Puget Sound near Tacoma, Washington. Mary is the mother of noted Radio and Television personality Glenn Beck The following is the tragic story of her death as recorded on the Salon web site Here is the story as they relate it.

Early one morning in May 1979, a 41-year-old divorcee named Mary Beck went boating in Washington's Puget Sound. Her companions on the expedition were a retired papermaker named Orean Carrol, whose boat she helped launch near the Tacoma suburb of Puyallup, and Carrol's pet dog. Exactly what happened next remains shrouded in morning mist, but among the crew, only the dog would survive the day. The boat was recovered late that afternoon adrift near Vashon Island, just north of Tacoma. It was empty but for two wallets and the frightened animal. Mary Beck's body was discovered floating fully clothed nearby. Carrol's corpse washed ashore at the Vashon ferry terminal the following morning. The county coroner found no evidence of violence on either body. Police investigators told Tacoma's News Tribune that the double drowning appeared to be a classic man-overboard mishap — a failed rescue attempt in which both parties perished. At the time of Beck's death, she held custody of her 15-year-old son, Glenn, with whom she had moved to Puyallup. She had left her estranged husband William behind in Mt. Vernon, Wash., another small city 100 miles due north. After producing two daughters and a son, the Becks' marriage had collapsed in 1977 under the weight of Mary's chemical addictions and manic fits of depression. It was in the two years bridging this divorce and his mother's drowning that a teenage Glenn Beck launched one of the most bizarre and unlikely careers in the history of American broadcasting.

Mary had been married to William Beck of Mount Vernon Washington before they were divorced.

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Mary Clara Beck's Timeline

March 2, 1938
Iowa, United States
February 10, 1964
Everett, Snohomish County, Washington, United States
May 15, 1979
Age 41
Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington, United States
Mount Vernon, Skagit County, Washington, United States