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WWE wrestler James 'Kamala' Harris dies at 70

The WWE had not confirmed cause of death by Monday for the wrestler who during the 80s was in the ring with names like Hulk Hogan and Jake "The Snake" Roberts.

The WWE confirmed Monday in a tweet that wrestler James Harris, known to his fans as "Kamala" has passed away at the age of 70.

Harris, also known as "The Ugandan Giant," was famous for his face paint and his stature, rising above his competition at 6 foot 7 inches and weighing in at 380 pounds, according to the WWE.

"Kamala" wrestled in Mid-South and World Class Championship Wrestling for the WCW and WWE until 2006

Writer Kenny Casanova, who co-authored Harris' autobiography said Monday in a Facebook post that the wrestler died of COVID-19 complications, but the WWE did not confirm an official cause of death in its Monday statement

Casanova wrote that Harris "was also one of the nicest guys you could meet. In helping him get his book out there, we became pretty close over the years and I am happy to have been his friend..."

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A report in the Washington Post said that Harris had suffered multiple health issues recently and had to have both legs amputated because of complications with diabetes. 

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During his wrestling days, Harris was mentored by promoter Jerry Lawler who invented his "Kamala" character. His career reached its height in the 80s when Harris wrestled with the then World Wrestling Federation. It was during that time he was in the ring with names like Hulk Hogan and Jake "The Snake" Roberts. 

In the ring, the character Harris played was apparently unable to speak English and spoke in grunts. In real life Harris dropped out in the 9th-grade in the Jim Crow South and worked various jobs driving trucks and picking cotton, and also committing petty crimes, the Washington Post reported. Harris said he turned to wrestling when he couldn't find a job. 

Harris was born on May 28, 1950 in Senatobia, Mississippi.


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