The man who inspired David Simon and Edward Burns to write The Corner has died at the age of 35. DeAndre McCullough was found dead last week, with his family saying it was most likely of a drug overdose.

Over 20 years ago, McCullough met Simon while he was working as a 15-year-old drug dealer on a street corner in Baltimore. Simon, who spent over a year profiling McCullough and the others who dealt there, posted a¬†lengthy obituary¬†for McCullough on his website, detailing how he got to know the young man‚ÄĒand in the process, himself. ("The price of being a white man on Fayette Street and getting to know DeAndre McCullough was to have your from-the-other-America pontifications pulled and scalpeled apart by a manchild with an uncanny ear for hypocrisy and cant.")

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The Corner: A Year In The Life Of An Inner-City Neighborhood came out in book form in 1997, and was made into an HBO mini-series in 2000 with many actors that would later pop up on The Wire (albeit in very different roles). Simon remained in touch with McCullough for the rest of his life, eventually giving him acting work on both Treme and The Wire, where he played Brother Mouzone’s assistant, Lamar.