Jim Ward opened Gauntlet, the world’s very first professional piercing studio in California in 1978.
The holiday itself was reportedly begun by a friend of the great Mr. Ward to continue his legacy of piercing education and promote safety standards within the industry.
Jim Ward (body piercer)
James Mark "Jim" Ward (born 1941) is an American body piercer. In a 2004 documentary, entitled The Social History of Piercing, MTV called him "the granddaddy of the modern body piercing movement."
Ward pioneered many jewelry designs including the fixed bead ring and internally threaded barbells. He was introduced to barbell style jewelry by Horst Heinrich Streckenbach ("Tattoo Samy"), a tattooist and piercer from Frankfurt, Germany, and his student Manfred "Tattoo" Kohrs from Hanover, Germany. Ward opened the Gauntlet as a commercial storefront operation in West Hollywood on 17 November 1978. The establishment of this business — considered the first of its type in the United States — was the beginning of the body piercing industry.
In 1977, with the assistance of Malloy and Fakir Musafar, Ward started the piercing magazine Piercing Fans International Quarterly (PFIQ).
He published a book called Running the Gauntlet, containing the series of articles he wrote for BME between 2003-2005.