Legendary Tattoo Pioneer Crazy Philadelphia Eddie Dies at 80

Legendary Tattoo Pioneer Crazy Philadelphia Eddie Dies at 80

The tattoo community mourns the passing of one of its most colorful characters.

Long-time tattooist Eddie Funk, better know as Crazy Philadelphia Eddie, passed away this weekend after a long battle with illness. He was a pioneer in the art form here in the US, and he will be missed greatly by the entire tattoo community. 

Photo of Crazy Philadelphia Eddie when he was younger. #CrazyPhiladelphiaEddie #tattoolegend

Crazy Philadelphia Eddie started tattooing in 1952 out of Coney Island, when the the art form was just starting to gain popularity in the states. His life literally encompassed the modern history of tattoos. Over the course of his long career he not only tattooed countless individuals, he helped shape the culture surrounding body art into what it is today. He was more than just a talented and industrious tattoo artist though. His personality, which earned him his nickname, was crazy fun to say the least. Check out the video at the bottom of this post just to see just how vibrant of a person he was. 

Photo of Crazy Philadelphia Eddie. #CrazyPhiladelphiaEddie #tattoolegend

Crazy Philadelphia Eddie will be missed. We and many others in the tattoo community mourn his passing, and our prayers go out to him and his loved ones. 


As tattooers and enthusiasts filled their social media feeds with memories of Crazy Philadelphia Eddie one can't help but be touched (and in hysterics) by the stories shared. Here are some of those tales.


"Years ago I had the pleasure and honor of spending some time recording interviews and taking photos of Crazy Philadelphia Eddie," Tattooist Sara Eve shared on Instagram. "When he came to State College for his book signing, he pretended we were engaged and told the bartender that for his third marriage, it was up to me to buy the rings. I appreciated his sense of humor and his wild stores of tattooing 'back in the day.' I feel luck to have heard many of those stories told in person."

Some of Crazy Philadelphia Eddie's flash designs. #CrazyPhiladelphiaEddie #flashart #tattoolegend

"The great Phiadelphia Eddie has left this world... and he would probably say 'just in the nick of time,'" Oliver Peck wrote on Instagram. "He was a true tattoo legend... a great friend and huge motivator to so many great tattooers. It is difficult for me to think that there is a future generation that will not get to meet a guy like this, or see and hear him being CRAZY at tattoo conventions every year. This man DID IT! And he DID IT (whatever it was) just because it was what HE DID!!"


"On Sailor Jerry's 100th birthday Eddie was asked to give the toast," Peck continues. "He simply said 'Fuck Sailor Jerry.' Some people laughed, some people got pissed, I thought it was perfect. So whatever you do don't cry for Eddie or he will kick you in the balls when you see him on the other side!!! FUCK PHILADELPHIA EDDIE!!!"

Awesome shot of Crazy Philadelphia Eddie. #CrazyPhiladelphiaEddie #tattoolegend

"Shared a cab with #PhiladelphiaEddie in CT like 5-6 years ago at a convention," Destroy Troy wrote on Instagram. "He was hilarious. Saw him steal a banana at the coffee shop I was chillin at. What a fuckin awesome dude. RIP Legend."

Recent photo of Crazy Philadelphia Eddie. #CrazyPhiladelphiaEddie #tattoolegend

"Saddens my heart to have to post this today," Jeremiah Barba wrote. "I had many laughs with this great man. He was a true legend in our tattoo family. Hope you are double fisted with drinks in the after life, buddy. Thanks for everything you did for me. I will miss your stories. Love ya."

Photo of Crazy Philadelphia Eddie later in life. #CrazyPhiladelphiaEddie #tattoolegend

"Yesterday was a very sad day, Crazy Philadelphia Eddie passed away," Buddy Wheeler wrote on Instagram. "The first time I met him he gave me a huge hug and sat me down at the big kids table with a few other old timers. I sat and listened to stories and, thanks to Eddie, felt like I belonged. For the last 20 years Eddie always treated me like family. I loved him and made sure he knew it. I huge hole is left in tattooing and the world."

There are 10,000 more stories out there about Crazy Philadelphia Eddie, feel free to share yours with us on social media. You will be missed, Mr. Funk, and without you, the tattoo world would not be what it is today. Rest in peace. 

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