Monday, September 28, 2020

James 'Kamala' Harris, Wrestling Superstar, Dies at 70

James “Kamala” Harris, a legend of professional wrestling in the 1980s and 1990s, passed away Sunday at the age of 70 after long health struggles.

In a statement on Sunday evening, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) acknowledged Harris’s death and celebrated his career:

WWE is saddened to learn that James Harris, known to WWE fans as Kamala, has passed away at age 70.

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.

He terrorized opponents and thrilled audiences in Mid-South, World Class Championship Wrestling, WCW and WWE until 2006.

WWE extends its condolences to Harris’ family, friends and fans.

Look back at the memorable career of Kamala, "The Ugandan Giant," with these classic photos.https://t.co/tEqmciumam

— WWE (@WWE) August 10, 2020

Watch some of the most unforgettable matches and moments from the legendary career of Kamala "The Ugandan Giant".https://t.co/qJhMa4btiM

— WWE (@WWE) August 10, 2020

ESPN provided further details:

Harris most recently wrestled for the WWE in 2006, but over the course of his 30-plus-year career, he spent time with other promotional giants, including WCW, World Class Championship Wrestling and Mid-South. He took center stage in the mid-1990s with Tennessee-based promotion USWA, where Harris was a four-time world champion and engaged in a memorable rivalry with Jerry “The King” Lawler.

Harris continued to wrestle for small regional promotions until 2010. Health issues, including diabetes, led to Harris having his left leg amputated below the knee in November 2011, and his right leg was amputated in April 2012.

Twitter devoted a special news item to Kamala’s passing, and fans and former colleagues remembered him on social media:

AEW and the wrestling world mourn the passing of wrestling legend James “Kamala” Harris, our thoughts are with his family, his friends and his fans.#RIPKamalapic.twitter.com/kYMMusLJXJ

— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) August 10, 2020

A character that you created and a nice, nice man.

Athletic Big Man…

RIPKAMALA🙏 https://t.co/3OWHehBLWg

— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) August 10, 2020

GOD BLESS THE KAMALA HE ALWAYS PUT ON A SHOW FOR THE FANS GOOD BIG MAN WHO WORKED THE GIMMICK BETTER THEN MOST IT BREAK MY HEART #ripkamalapic.twitter.com/8hFybhctSq

— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) August 10, 2020

There was also considerable confusion on social media, given the fact that Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a leading contender to join former Vice President Joe Biden on the Democratic Party 2020 presidential ticket, has an uncannily similar name.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Photo credit: Scott Simpson (Creative Commons / cropped)

Joel B. Pollak

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