PUBLISHED: 15:16 EST, 4 August 2012 | UPDATED: 08:34 EST, 5 August 2012
The man whose life was the focus of ‘The Corner,’ a book about a year on a drug-plagued Baltimore street corner, has died of a suspected drug overdose.
De’Andre McCullough, 35, was found dead by his girlfriend at a home in the Baltimore suburb of Woodlawn just before 6.30pm on Wednesday, according to police.
The 1997 book was written by former police officer Edward Burns and reporter David Simon, who went on to create the HBO series ‘The Wire.’ ‘The Corner’ was also made into an HBO mini-series.
Dead: De’Andre McCullough, pictured, who inspired ‘The Corner’ died on Wednesday after an apparent overdose
While the medical examiner’s office has not determined a cause of death, family told The Baltimore Sun there was evidence of an overdose.
According to the paper, McCullough had been battling drug addiction for years and had other run ins with the law.
At the time of his death, he was on warrants charging him with two armed robberies at Baltimore pharmacies.
Simon said McCullough grew up in a hopeless area of Baltimore, slunging drugs on the corner with friends at an early age.
He went from selling drugs to abusing them, starting with marijuana.
Inspiration: McCullough, 35, was the protagonist in ‘The Corner, pictured, which chronicled a year on a drug-plagued street corner in West Baltimore
Mini-series: The book, written by a former policeman and reporter, was turned into a mini-series, pictured
Burns said in a 2004 interview McCullough was ‘a cool kid. He was a great street fighter. He had a great sense of humor. And he was into a little marijuana. … By the end of the year, he was sniffing heroin and cocaine.’
His home life didn’t help stave off drug taking as both his parents struggled with severe addiction.
‘He was living in a rough house, a house where police kicked in the door twice a month whether (they) needed to or not,’ Simon told the paper.
The Wire: McCullough inspired the writers of popular HBO series ‘The Wire’
McNulty: ‘The Wire’, pictured, also documents the drug-plagued streets of Baltimore
‘It was a level of addiction in his household that was quite dramatic.’
McCullough’s father died of a drug overdose as ‘The Corner’ was being written.
His mother, Fran Boyd, overcame her addiction to become a drug counselor and adopted nieces and nephews from other relatives battling addiction.
‘De’Andre was very special and very talented, but he could get in his own way quicker than his shadow,’ Donnie Andrews, who inspired the ‘Omar’ character on ‘The Wire’ and married McCullough’s mother, told The Baltimore Sun.
‘It was a demon inside of him that he couldn’t get rid of.’
A funeral will be held on Tuesday.