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Sailor Jerry
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    (January 14, 1911-June 12, 1973)
    Born in Reno, Nevada
    Birth name was Norman Keith Collins
    Tattoo artist
    Ran the Sailor Jerry Tattoo Parlor in Honolulu, Hawaii
    Hosted the 'Old Ironsides' talk radio program on KTRG-AM
    He was nicknamed Jerry after the family mule, since his dad felt the two shared the same cantankerous disposition.
    He spent much of his youth hopping freight trains around the country.
    During these travels, he learned tattooing from a guy named 'Big Mike.'
    Early in his career, he practiced his tattooing skills on passed-out skid row drunks.
    As a prank, he hung an extra-large salami and pair of hairy coconuts just below the belt on Honolulu's statue of King Kamehameha.
    He developed a lifelong love with Asian culture and art while serving with the US Navy in the Far East.
    He remained a sailor after leaving the Navy, conducting tours of the Hawaiian islands as skipper of a three-masted schooner.
    His tattoos were so detailed that the rigging on his tattoo of a schooner was accurate.
    He expanded the tattoo artist's palette by developing several new safe pigments.
    He was an early proponent of single-use needles and other sterilization techniques to avoid the spread of hepatitis and other blood-borne diseases.
    In addition to his other interests, he played sax in a local jazz band.
    After he doubled his fees, he noted 'Good work ain't cheap. Cheap work ain't good.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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