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R.I.P. Philadelphia Eddie

15 Comments
Philadelphia Eddie in 1976

Philadelphia Eddie in 1976. (carlbrennalt.com)

In the morning of Saturday, October 8, local tattooing legend Eddie Funk passed away. R.I.P. Philadelphia Eddie.

“Crazy Eddie” started tattooing in Coney island, NY, in 1952. When New York City banned tattooing in 1961—he was one of the defendants who took the fight to the New York Supreme Court—he moved to Philadelphia, opening a shop at Ninth and Cherry. From crazyphiladelphiaeddie.com:

Philadelphia Eddie's Tattoo on South 4th Street“In the 1960s, Mr. Eddie Funk opened several tattoo shops on Race Street in Chinatown, Philadelphia. Deemed as urban blight by city planners, this cityscape was home to bums sleeping on the streets where prostitutes worked, despondent drunks dwelling in flophouses, and industrious grifters and downtrodden–yet honest–characters hustling and gambling for easy fortunes. Amongst the handful of tattooers in this neighborhood, Eddie hung his flash on the wall, unpacked his stencils, mixed his inks, started tattooing, and joined the fray.”

In the mid-nineties (as part of a long-standing feud with his son Bill Funk, owner of Body Graphics and No Ka Oi Tiki Tattoo), Philadelphia Eddie set up two shops on 4th Street—right down the street from us at Infinite Body Piercing. He has since sold out his stake to his employees, who continue to operate the studios under the Philadelphia Eddie name.

Philadelphia Eddie's Tattoo on 4th StreetHe recently drafted his memoirs, and explained what made him decide to write the series of books on his life:

“My fourth wife, while I was in the hospital with a heart attack, cleaned out my safe and took all my retirement money. So I had to do something so I could earn a few dollars, so I could get a drink. So I decided to write the story of my life.”

In later years, Eddie could be seen on 4th Street, walking his toy poodle and sporting his signature hairstyle with blazer and wide-collar shirt. He was a throwback to another time, a hard-living tattooer who refused to compromise.

 

Crazy Philadelphia Eddie from WeHolden on Vimeo.

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Posted in: Local News

Tagged: Philadelphia Tattoo

15 Comments

  1. Brenda McNulty

    Wow! My heart goes out to his family. Eddie was a great person. He will be missed by so many! R.I.P. EDDIE U WILL BE FOREVER IN OUR ❤

  2. Kristina kelly

    R.I.P Eddie
    You have and will always be the greatest
    You did all my dad’s work !
    You are so loved and will be missed dearly

  3. Nancy Morley

    Omg. I knew Eddie before I became a cop. I worked at the roundhouse as a secretary. Many a drink he and I shared at the Mall tavern
    Rest In Peace my friend

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