The WWE world is mourning the death of wrestling legend James Harris, better known in the ring as Kamala. Harris faced several health issues in recent years, including the amputations of his legs due to complications from diabetes. The Mississippi native was 70 years old. His exact cause of death is unknown.
Harris' death was confirmed by WWE. He was born in Senatobia, Mississippi, and grew up in Coldwater with four sisters. Harris, who had worked as a sharecropper to support his family after his father's death, made his pro wrestling debut in 1978. In 1984, Harris signed with the WWE and wrestled for the company throughout his career until 2006.
Since his last match in 2010, Harris faced several health challenges. In 2011, his left leg was amputated due to high blood pressure and diabetes, which he was diagnosed with in 1992. Two years later, his right leg was amputated and he needed an online campaign for donations to help pay his medical expenses. In 2017, Harris had emergency surgery due to fluid around his heart and lungs. He was put on life support for several days before his health improved.
"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," the WWE said in a statement. "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."
Kamala was one of those out there and unique characters you don’t really see in pro wrestling today. Ones in many ways that are missed for many reasons. #RIPKamala #RIPUgandanGiant pic.twitter.com/4voGqcyfON— Scott Fishman (@smFISHMAN) August 9, 2020
Kamala was one of Hulk Hogan's better-drawing house show opponents. From late 1986 to early 1987, they did good business. It's kind of forgotten because it's right before WM3. #RIPKamala pic.twitter.com/QJIh78fufw— Jim Valley (@JimValley) August 9, 2020
Sad news. Rest in peace, Kamala. I think it's fair to say that James Harris gave us an unforgettable character that was unique and very entertaining. Thanks for the memories. Condolences to his family, friends and fans. #RIPKamala https://t.co/gYqgTViqQl— John Canton (@johnreport) August 9, 2020