America’s Most Arrested Man Dies at 74, Was Nabbed 1500 Times

The 74-year-old man who has the longest arrest record in American history passed away.

A man from Lexington, Kentucky, named Henry Earl, who had an arrest record of over 1,500, died mid-May.  He was laid to rest at the Owenton Cemetery. 

Earl became famous for his epic acts of lawlessness, which mostly included public drunkenness.

Earl, whose adopted mother’s death prompted him to start drinking at the age of 18 and begin his criminal career at the age of 20, was characterized as charming and comical. 

At the Owenton Healthcare and Rehabilitation Facility, he had lived his last years in relative anonymity. The funeral was attended by facility staff, as Earl did not have any known relatives.

Earl was infamous for being magnetic and multi-faceted. After knowing Earl for a while, Ginny Ramsey, co-founder of Lexington’s Catholic Action Center, came to refer to him as a legend to many.  He was well-liked by his fellow Catholic Action Center members.  According to Ramsey, he was quite the character and had a great sense of humor.

Everyone was worried that Henry Earl would perish on the streets when he was absent for an extended period of time. But he did not. Earl was a kind man who sought to make others laugh, according to two Owenton Facility staff who attended the service and cared for him in his last days.

Charlotte Woods said that you might ask him what his name is,  and he would reply,  “James Brown.”  Kirsten Dempsey described him as a wonderful guy who was always up for a good time and who made an effort to make others laugh. 

According to a publication that followed Earl’s escapades, Earl’s arrest record began in July 1970, while in his early twenties, for possessing a concealed firearm. He would face 33 further arrests over that decade.

Earl had been steadily increasing the frequency of his arrests since then.

Earl stepped it up in the 1980s when he was arrested 230 times, often for public intoxication and disruptive behavior. However, Earl did not become a household name until 2008, when he appeared in court for the thousandth time for public drunkenness.