Lyle Tuttle; Living Legend

Lyle Tuttle; Living Legend
March 16
11:01 2018

Lyle Tuttle; Grandfather of Modern American Tattooing:

Lyle Tuttle is currently 86 years of age, the world famous tattoo artist was born in 1931. Before retiring in 1990, Lyle managed to work his craft on all 7 continents of the world, as well as being tattooed himself on 6 of them. Technically Lyle does not work anymore, but he will occasionally swing the old tattoo gun, if it is for a good friend.

But it is only fair that this living legend is retired and enjoying his golden years. The man has performed his fair share of tattoos the world over. As well as also sporting quite the collection himself. In fact many tattoo enthusiasts will have seen pictures of Lyle Tuttle, in anything from tattoo magazines to some history books.

He is famously known in the internet age, as one of the best reasons, for why tattoos do not become less cool with age. This man is probably the most bad ass retiree in the world. But he was not without his controversy in the day, as he was one of the first tattoo artists to openly talk to the press and also did quite a bit of self-promotion, which didn’t sit well with some of the other tattoo artists at the time.

Lyle Tuttle We Salute You:

But no matter what, Lyle’s contribution to developing the industry and craft of modern tattooing, cannot be denied.
He has seen and done it all. He even still teaches seminars on tattoo machine building and maintenance at various tattoo conventions. Plus he still manages to enjoy his life to the fullest, with his good friends he has met along the way.

The man himself got his first tattoo in 1949 and opened his first studio in San Francisco only 5 years later. He has since then had several studios and collected a veritable treasure trove of memorabilia from America’s golden age of tattooing (as some call it), throughout his long career.

He has been interviewed by countless magazines and been in his fair share of documentaries regarding the world of tattooing. Even working together with many academics, tattoo historians especially, helping them to learn more about the world of tattooing. Truly a man giving his all for his craft.

Final Comment:

If you already know about the legend Lyle Tuttle we need not say anymore. If you do not know about this living piece of history, you need to look him up and read about him. There is a lot to learn from this awesome man, and as many cool stories as there are tattoos on his body. Our short little salute to him here, doesn’t begin to do him justice, hopefully he will continue to enjoy his old age in the years to come.

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About Author



Mads W. K. Masters of science in Sociology (Cand. Scient. Soc.), from the University of Copenhagen, who specializes in embodiment sociology, but especially in tattoos and tattoo culture etc.

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