Newark 'Street Doctor,' prisoner-turned-activist, laid to rest in NJ

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Newark's famed "Street Doctor," a bank robber turned activist who offered his prescription to stop violence to kids in schools, playgrounds, and on the street, was mourned at a funeral service Friday.

Earl Best's death at the age of 74 was announced by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, who wrote, "Rest in Power and Paradise. The city will not be the same without you. Godspeed my brother. As he would say spider webs can tie up a lion Yibambe!!!!

A public viewing was held at the Transcend Worship Center on Clinton Avenue in Irvington, with those wishing to pay their respects lining up for hours. Burial follow at Fairmount Cemetery in Newark.

ALSO READ | Eyewitness News viewers donate money to Uber driver robbed, beaten after seeing his story
EMBED More News Videos

A week after an Uber driver was violently robbed and knocked unconscious near an ATM, he and his wife received some great news from a generous viewer. Stacey Sager has the story.

Best was a man who transformed his life and then worked to transform the lives of others in his beloved home city, and he called himself the Street Doctor because he helped those suffering from poverty and violence and brought light into dark places.

The Newark native spent 17 years in prison but came out with a mission to help young men and woman avoid his mistakes, dedicating his life to stopping street violence.

His non-profit, the Street Warriors, worked to steer young people away from gangs and violence.

He was known to show up at community gatherings with a white coat and carrying a bag, telling people he carried "the right medicine," his prescription to fight violence.

His funeral was well attended by those who know him well. They all knew his life story, which went from low to high.

ALSO READ: Top floor resident saves 3-year-old girl from Bronx high rise fire, reunites her with mother
EMBED More News Videos

Jim Dolan interviews Mahamed Keita, who is being lauded a hero after helping save a 3-year-old girl from a deadly apartment fire in the Bronx and reuniting her with her mother.

The Street Doctor was known for his passion, and his family was overwhelmed by the turnout and the recognition of his work.

Best died of cancer in late December, but his impact was felt far and wide. He is being remembered as a humble warrior whose legacy will be hard to fill.

* Get Eyewitness News Delivered
* More New Jersey news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Submit a News Tip
Copyright © 2022 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.