Deep Ellum Tattoo Icon Tigger Liddell Died On Sunday.

In 1988, when Tigger Liddell opened Tigger's Tattoo on Main Street in Deep Ellum, it wasn't just the first shop of its kind in a neighborhood now littered with such shops. It was also among the first tattoo shops in Dallas, period.

Clearly, the man was a trend-setter — and a respected figure, too.

Liddell died on Sunday night in his native Oklahoma, where he had lived in recent years to be closer to his daughter. He died of complications surrounding diabetes and heart disease.

Revered in a Facebook post as “the original Deep Ellum tattooer” by current Deep Ellum tattoo icon Oliver Peck of Elm Street Tattoos, Liddell, who was in his late 50s at the time of his passing, opened and operated two Dallas-based shops — his main street shop named after himself and Tiger Moon Tattoo off of Northwest Highway.

He sold his Deep Ellum shop in 1996, but remained in town as a tattoo and motorcycling advocate. Upon his home state of Oklahoma passing a bill legalizing tattoo work in that state, he moved north to open up a shop in the town of Ada, Oklahoma, in 2006.

Later this month, a “life celebration” will take place at Excuses Cafe with live music and drink specials, honoring the Deep Ellum icon and aimed at helping his family cover the costs of his funeral.

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