Eric Lee Manigault, who went from bartending in some fancy nightclubs in New York City to computer operation in Philadelphia and who was also an Internet entrepreneur and Army veteran, died May 1 of complications of kidney disease. He was 50 and lived in Upper Darby, but had grown up in West Philadelphia.
He was born in Philadelphia to Serena and Ralph Manigault, and attended West Philadelphia High School.
In 1967, he and his best friend, Gregory "Chops" Scott, formed a drill team called the Gold Coast Buccaneers. It performed widely and is still going strong.
Eric, known as Ricky to family and friends, enlisted in the Army in 1975. After his discharge, he moved to New York City, where he became a bartender.
It was there, his wife, the former Wanda Thorton, said that he "brought a slice of joy to all he met." They were married in 1988.
Eric returned to Philadelphia and studied computer programming. He worked for local companies, including Master Card International, where he was the lead-shift computer operator, until he became disabled in 1993.
Despite failing health, Eric launched an Internet store selling designer clothing under ricksclothes.com.
"Eric enjoyed and pursued all of the finer things in life," his wife said. "His excitement and energy were evident through the kindness and generosity he shared with others."
He also is survived by a daughter, Tameka; two sons, Eric Jr. and Jermaine; four sisters, Theresa, Marietta, Althea and Dawn, and two grandchildren.
Services: Were yesterday. Burial was in Mount Moriah Cemetery, 61st Street and Kingsessing Avenue. *