DOCUMENT: Celebrity, Drunk

World's Most Arrested Man Dies At 74

Kentucky legend was busted 1500+ times

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RIP Henry Earl

MAY 24--The world’s most arrested man has died.

Henry Earl, whose criminal history included more than 1500 busts, passed away last week. He was 74.

For the last several years of his life, Earl resided at a nursing home in Owenton, Kentucky, a city about 50 miles from Lexington, where he racked up the majority of his arrests.

As reported in these pages, Earl was regularly collared for public order crimes--fueled by alcohol--and booked into the Fayette County Detention Center in Lexington.

When TSG stopped counting, Earl had spent a staggering 6000 days in the county lockup for offenses like public intoxication and disorderly conduct (violent crimes did not often appear on Earl’s prodigious rap sheet).

An array of mugshots--representing just a fraction of Earl’s booking photo sessions--can be found here.

According to jail records, Earl would usually spend several days behind bars before being released back to the Lexington streets (where the 5’ 4” local celebrity was affectionately known as “James Brown”).

Earl was first busted in Fayette County in July 1970 for carrying a concealed weapon (he was 20 at the time). Over the decades that followed, Earl’s rap sheet became so lengthy it threatened to deplete U.S. timber reserves.

In the few years before he entered the nursing home in 2017, Earl spent longer stretches in custody when the leniency he had been afforded by scores of judges dried up (likely due to news reports about his unparalleled exploits).

Earl’s last arrest was in April 2017 for public intoxication 

Earl was laid to rest Thursday at an Owenton cemetery. No surviving family members have been identified. (1 page)