|piercer, founder of the Gauntlet
Jim Ward is the founder of Gauntlet.
Almost everything you see today in the western body piercing scene can be traced back to Jim Ward. While certainly not the earliest Piercer on record - Jack Yount was piercing 20 years when Jim started Gauntlet - Ward took piercing out of the back room and into the strip mall (metaphorically speaking) with the opening of the first Gauntlet in the late 1970's.
He began publishing Piercing Fans International Quarterly (PFIQ), Piercing Fans International Quarterly, in 1977. These early issues are a treasure to anyone interested in the early roots of the western piercing scene.
Ward eventually sold controlling interest in his Gauntlet chain, and, without his guidance, it crumbled. While the name was tarnished by a piano salesman, those who know Jim, or his contribution to the lifestyle, can't help but give props to this Elder of the Community.
He published a book called Running the Gauntlet, containing the series of articles he wrote for BME between 2003-2005.