Eddie Winter was a big-time notorious criminal operating in Boston before the Great War. In an official investigation, code-named "Operation Winter's End", by Captain Jonathan Widmark and his task force of the Boston Police Department, the extent of Winter's crimes were revealed. He was involved in almost every type of crime, ranging from petty larceny to first degree murder. It was suspected, though not proven, that Winter was behind the murder of the lead detective's fiancé, Ms. Jennifer Lands, in August 2077. In October of that year, the Boston Bugle reported that the case against Winter was closed.
Eddie Winter became a ghoul of his own volition through a radiation experiment to obtain eternal life. He was also a rather large and ruthless crime lord, a life choice that eventually catches up to him.
The following is based on unverified behind the scenes information and has not been confirmed by canon sources.
Eddie is most likely the Fallout universe's parallel to real life kingpins James Joseph Whitey Bulger, Jr. and Howard Thomas "Howie" Winter, both of whom once led Boston's infamous Winter Hill Gang. Like Eddie, Whitey Bulger led a prosperous criminal empire before suddenly disappearing around Christmas in 1994. Bulger remained at large for 16 years until his arrest on June 22, 2011 in Santa Monica, California. He was found guilty of multiple counts of racketeering, money laundering, and murder (among other charges) on August 12, 2013. Bulger's story was eventually made into a movie, Black Mass, starring Johnny Depp as Bulger.
End of information based on unverified behind the scenes information.