Mr. A. Black’s first name is never given, even though he’s the Black that Oskar becomes the closest with on his quest. Mr. Black lives a few floors above Oskar, and even though he hasn’t left his apartment for twenty-four years, he decides he’s going to accompany Oskar on the rest of Oskar’s expedition. Mr. Black says that he was born on January 1, 1900, which makes him over a century old; everything he says ends in an exclamation point, because he shouts everything. Mr. Black used to be a war correspondent, and his apartment is stuffed with fascinating memorabilia. The bed in the apartment is made out of a tree—his wife kept tripping over the tree root, so Mr. Black cut it down and made it into a bed—and Mr. Black has put a nail into it every day since his wife died. There are so many nails in the tree now that the keys on Oskar’s neck float gently towards the bed, magnetically compelled. Mr. Black keeps a biographical index of “significant people”; every name has one word after it in description, and that word is usually “war” or “money.” Mr. Black becomes smitten with Ruth Black, whom he and Oskar meet on top of the Empire State Building, but after they visit her, Mr. Black quits their expedition. When Oskar returns to Mr. Black’s apartment, Mr. Black is gone, and his possessions are about to be cleared out. Oskar finds his own name in Mr. Black’s biographical index with “son” as his description.