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Willie York, Peoria’s most famous homeless person, passes away

PEORIA, Ill. (WEEK) — This morning the world-famous Willie York has passed away.

A family spokesperson confirmed the Peoria icon passed away overnight.

“We appreciate the public’s concern for our family member Willie York, and we appreciate the concern for him. We will truly miss the world-famous Willie York,” said the family spokesperson.

York was moved into hospice on Tuesday, according to a Facebook post on his fan page.  The Vietnam War veteran had been ailing for some time.

York, 74, was a long-time fixture in the downtown Peoria area, known for his unique face painting, clothing, and unique outlook on life.

York was the subject of a short documentary in 2008.



Tim Shelley

Social Media & Digital Content Manager

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