Glenn Lee Beck was born in Everett, Washington to William and Mary Beck, who lived in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. The family later moved to Mount Vernon, Washington where they owned and operated City Bakery in the downtown area. He is descended from German immigrants who came to the United States in the 1800s. Beck was raised as a Roman Catholic and attended Immaculate Conception Catholic School in Mount Vernon. At age 13, he won a contest that landed him his first broadcast job as a disc jockey for his hometown radio station, KBRC.
On May 15, 1979, his mother drowned in Puget Sound, just west of Tacoma, Washington. A man who had taken her out in a small boat also drowned. A Tacoma police report stated that Mary Beck "appeared to be a classic drowning victim", but a Coast Guard investigator speculated that she could have intentionally jumped overboard. Beck has described his mother's death as a suicide in interviews during television and radio broadcasts
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