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Former WWE Star “Kamala” Passes Away at 70

Former WWE wrestler James “Kamala” Harris, passed away on August 9 at the age of 70. Kamala’s obituary per The Washington Post details that he “suffered many health reversals,” one of those reversals being diabetes. Doctors amputated both of Harris’ legs due to complications of the disease.

Writer Kenny Casanova, who co-authored Kamala’s autobiography, and Jason King of Bleacher Report stated that Kamala contracted COVID-19 before his death. King, who confirmed that he spoke with Kamala’s wife, tweeted, “He tested positive Wednesday for COVID which he likely contracted from one of his numerous weekly visits to the dialysis center. Was hospitalized Wednesday night & seemed fine & in good spirits this morning [on August 9]. Went into cardiac arrest & passed this afternoon.”

A statement from the WWE about Kamala’s death, which included details about his extraordinary career, was posted on Twitter and on the WWE’s official website.

“WWE is saddened to to learn that James Harris, known to WWE fans as Kamal, has passed away at age 70,” the statement begins. “Under the frightening face paint of Kamala, the 6-foot-7, 380-pound Harris battled the greatest Superstars in sports-entertainment history, including Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker and Andre the Giant. WWE extends its condolences to Harris’ family, friends and fans.”

 

Kamala’s Legacy

Tributes from many of Kamala’s wrestling peers and friends poured in after news of the athlete’s death were made public. WWE Hall-of-Famer Mick Foley tweeted, “I am so sorry to learn of the passing of James “Kamala” Harris. I wrested him for 90 seconds in 1986, but the lesson he taught me that night about treating others with respect has never been forgotten.”

Foley also wrote on August 10 in a separate tweet that he was working on an article about Kamala. “I hope it’s an article befitting the giant of a man he was — both in and out of the ring,” it reads.

 

James “Kamala” Harris made his WWF debut in 1984. (The WWF became the WWE in 2002.) After several departures and returns to the WWF, Kamala stepped back from professional wrestling within the early to mid-nineties. He joined WCW in 1995 and made sporadic appearances in the WWE throughout the 2000s. Kamala’s last match was in 2010 for Juggalo Championship Wrestling.

Both Kenny Casanova and Jason King have set up online donation initiatives for fans interested in helping Kamala’s surviving family with funeral expenses or to send cards and flowers.

 

 

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Candace Cordelia
Candace Cordelia has been an on-camera interviewer and writer for In The Zone since the Summer of 2020. Candace's journalism experience includes writing for the New York Daily News and ABC Radio, where she also conducted celebrity interviews and audio production/editing for ABC Radio's national radio affiliates across the country. Her on-camera experience involves working as a backstage/in-ring interviewer with a number of independent wrestling promotions and as an actress. Candace is dedicated to bringing combat sports and eSports news to the In The Zone universe.
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