Lyle Tuttle, a legendary tattoo artist with a career that spanned many decades, died at age 87. During his long career, he tattooed Janis Joplin, Paul Stanley, Cher, Henry Fonda, and Jo Baker. Tuttle was a prolific traveler and reportedly tattooed on all seven continents and received tattoos in six.
One of Tuttle’s former shops serves as a tattoo museum dedicated to his artistry. The Lyle Tuttle Tattoo & Museum in San Francisco honors tattoo history and host exhibitions for other artists. Many refer to the late tattoo artist as the father of modern tattooing due to his influence on the industry.
In a double blow to the tattoo community, reports of Lyle Tuttle’s death come as Yoji Harada passed away at age 46 as reported by Monsters and Critics.
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What a great weekend celebrating Tattoo Art and Lyle Tuttle's career spanning 70 years and beyond! So many faces from around the world and we are grateful for all of your support! Major thanks to Mary Jane Haake, Bev "Cindy Ray" Robinson Nicholas, Paul “Rambo” Shoehill, Don Ed Hardy, Leo Zuleta, Shawn Barber, Dianne Mansfield the Powerhouse 5 and many more that came from near & far. Stay tuned for the news of the future of the Tattoo Art Museum!! THANK YOU!!❤️ ✨#lyletuttle #lyletuttlecollection #lyletuttletattoo @shawndbarber @donedhardyart @coreymillertattoo @evolvedmagazine @tattoogear4sale @photodianne @annemariebeers @luckysupply @mikeschweigert @nickackman @lyletuttletattooshop @nickcolella @amsterdam_tattoo_convention @kubotattooworks @rca.collectibles
Although Lyle Tuttle officially retired in the early 90s, he continued to tattoo on an occasion and hosted tattooing seminars around the United States.
Tribute pours in on social media as fans remember the Tuttle.
RIP Lyle Tuttle. Tattoo legend, brilliant artist, and pioneer in his field. pic.twitter.com/XazB2OqMgM
— Dan Mihoerck (@neur0sis) March 27, 2019
— Bearded Man Boy (@okayfineluis) March 27, 2019
I just heard about Lyle Tuttle’s passing. He liked my set-up and how I ran my machines. He was super nice and we ate Chinese food together one time. We even got to hang out in San Francisco one time. #rip #lyletuttle
— Chris Iwaniuk (@iwaniuktattoos) March 27, 2019
At the height of his career, Lyle Tuttle appeared on the Rolling Stone magazine cover in 1970 and he was featured on the cover of Life Magazine. Through the years, he has appeared or is referenced on several tattoo television series.
Tuttle’s death was announced on the Lyle Tuttle collection Instagram page, which revealed that he passed away peacefully.
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We are heartbroken to communicate that our beloved friend Lyle passed away peacefully last night. Lyle inspired so many of us with his joy for living, his boundless creativity, humor, and unconditional friendship. He will always be our favorite tattooed prince. He lifted us with the magic in his soul and his bright spirit across oceans, time and space. A service to honor and celebrate Lyle will be held this Saturday at 2pm at Eversol Funeral Home in Ukiah. Come one come all- let’s make this a gathering as wonderful and special as Lyle has made us all feel. He loved us all…. Please respectfully do not call the Ukiah house at this difficult time. More details to follow. #lyletuttleforeverbelovedfriend #oneinamillion #beafriend
“We are heartbroken to communicate that our beloved friend Lyle passed away peacefully last night. Lyle inspired so many of us with his joy for living, his boundless creativity, humor, and unconditional friendship.”
The legendary tattoo artist Lyle Tuttle died in Ukiah, California on March 25, 2019.