Melvin Williams might’ve been notorious on the streets of Baltimore as a former drug kingpin, but he was also the reason behind the series The Wire coming into fruition. The actor who made his way onto the show in the role of the Deacon after serving time in prison upon being released in 1996, has passed away at the age of 73 as the cause of death has yet to be determined.
Williams, who also went by the name “Little Melvin,” was the influence that former reporter of the Baltimore Sun, David Simon, created the popular HBO series.
The writer/producer took to his Twitter to pay his respect and condolences to Williams who he cites as the reason behind him rethinking the infamous Baltimore drug trade.
RIP to Melvin “Little Melvin” Williams, 73, who made me begin to rethink the drug war. You ended it free, brother. pic.twitter.com/UjtshQAmzz
— David Simon (@AoDespair) December 3, 2015
VIBE sends our condolences to Melvin Williams’ family and friends.