Nathan “Bodie” Barksdale, Inspiration For ‘The Wire’, Dead At 54


A Baltimore drug kingpin who inspired characters on HBO’s classic series The Wire has died in federal prison in North Carolina.

Baltimore Health Department spokesman Sean Naron confirmed on Tuesday that 54-year-old Nathan “Bodie” Barksdale died in a medical prison in Butner.

Barksdale ran a heroin business in Baltimore in the 1980, and served 15 years in state prison on a battery charge. “The Wire” creator David Simon has said Barksdale served as inspiration for aspects of some of the show’s main characters.

As recent as 2005, Barksdale worked with Safe Streets, an anti-violence program run by Baltimore’s Health Department.

In 2014, however, he pleaded guilty to participating in a drug conspiracy and was sentenced to four years.

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