USA Pentathlon is saddened to convey the passing of 1960 and 1968 Modern Pentathlon Olympian Dr. Robert "Bob" Beck of San Antonio, Texas. We were informed that Dr. Beck suffered a head injury from a fall in front of his home in February of this year and was hospitalized. During the hospitalization for his head injury the Covid-19 virus struck and he was unable to receive visitors. Dr. Beck passed on April 2nd, 2020 at 83 years of age.
Dr. Robert Beck, born December 30, 1936 and known as simply "Bob" to his pantheon of friends in sports, academics and business was a graduate of Harvard medical school receiving both his D.D.S. and MD degrees. He served as an officer in the United States Navy and was an avid sportsman. As an athlete Bob was one of the all-time greats in the sport of Modern Pentathlon. Bob represented Team USA in the 1960 Rome Olympics in Modern Pentathlon, notably winning both the individual bronze medal and the team bronze medal for Pentathlon in those games. In 1963 Bob won the Pan American Games Gold medals for Modern Pentathlon individual and team in Sao Paulo, Brazil as well as winning a team Gold in the 1971 Pan Am Games in Fencing in Cali, Columbia. In the 1968 Mexico City Games, Bob competed in both Pentathlon and Fencing and won a National Championships in Epee Fencing in 1961.
Bob was a well-known member of the Modern Pentathlon family. His intelligence, wit and gentlemanly nature overshadowed a highly competitive athlete. Bob was a devoted husband and father and remained fiercely devoted to his beloved sport, remaining an active supporter of Modern Pentathlon for nearly 70 years inspiring young athletes both in the USA and around the world until his death. While his loss is a great blow to the Modern Pentathlon family, he leaves us with many memories to enjoy and share with each new generation of athletes.
Bob lived and practiced dentistry in San Antonio his entire professional career and was an active dentist at the time of his injury. Bob is survived by his wife Ana, sons Joshua Lee and Robert and his daughter Elizabeth. Memorial arrangements are pending