DeAndre McCullough died last week in Baltimore, apparently of a drug overdose. He was 35.

McCullough was the protagonist of The Corner, David Simon’s 1997 book on drug use and dealing in west Baltimore. When Simon and coauthor Edward Burns began their research, McCullough was 15. The authors followed McCullough, his drug-addicted parents, and other dope fiends and dealers in their neighborhood.

The deck was stacked against DeAndre from the beginning, I wrote when I reviewed the book in 1997 for the Washington Monthly: