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

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Friday, January 14, 2022
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Earl Best, a bank robber turned activist who became known as Newark's "Street Doctor," was mourned at a funeral service Friday. Anthony Johnson has more.

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.

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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.

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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.

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