R.I.P.

‘The Wire’ Kingpin Dead at 73

Melvin Williams, whose life as a West Baltimore drug kingpin in the 1960s served as inspiration for a character in HBO's The Wire, passed away Thursday morning at the age of 73. Known as "Little Man," Williams once ruled the local drug trade before being imprisoned and eventually reforming. David Simon has indicated that Wire character Avon Barksdale was molded after Williams.