Nathan Barksdale has died at age 54 in a North Carolina federal prison. Barksdale was a Baltimore gangster who inspired several characters on HBO's hit TV series The Wire.
Barksdale was the inspiration for two characters on The Wire -- Avon Barksdale and Preston "Bodie" Broadus (played by J.D. Williams, pictured above).
Barksdale's reputation as a heroin dealer in the 1980s nearly cost him his life. He was shot 20 times by a rival drug dealer. He survived his injuries, but his right leg was amputated below the knee.
Barksdale turned his life around and went to work for the city Health Department lecturing kids on non-violence when The Wire's producer came calling.
Barksdale was arrested in 2014 during in a DEA drug sting investigating members of the notorious Black Guerrilla Family gang.
"I did some good," Barksdale said at his sentencing. "I'd like to think I saved some lives."
He was serving a 4 year sentence in federal prison when he died.