James Harris, who was known as Kamala during his time in WWE (then WWF), died at the age of 70 on Sunday night, and now the cause of death has been revealed. According to Jason King of Bleacher Report, Harris tested positive for COVID-19, which was likely contracted from one of his numerous weekly visits to the dialysis center. King talked to Harris' wife, who told him Harris was sent to the hospital on Wednesday and was in "good spirits" Sunday morning. However, Harris went into cardiac arrest and died that afternoon.
"WWE is saddened to learn that James Harris, known to WWE fans as Kamala, has passed away at age 70," WWE said in a statement. "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."
Spoke w/ Kamala’s wife. 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. Went into cardiac arrest & passed this afternoon— Jason King (@JasonKingBR) August 10, 2020
Harris didn't win any titles during his time in WWE, but he was one of the most recognizable stats during the mid-1980s and early 1990s. Harris started his wrestling career in 1978 and spent time in various promotions before joining WWE in 1984. During that time, he challenged Hogan for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship but did not win the title as the match ended in a double count-out. He also took on Andre the Giant multiple times before appearing in a battle royal in November of that year.
Harris left WWE in late-1984 before returning in 1986. He continued his feud with Hogan for the world title and also battled Jake "The Snake" Roberts. Harris left WWE in 1987 before returning again in 1992. During that time, he challenged Randy "Macho Man" Savage for the title and also took on The Undertaker, Bret "The Hitman" Hart and The Ultimate Warrior. Harris left WWE again in 1993 and spent time in WCW before making sporadic appearances in WWE in the 2000s. He also spent time on the independent circuit and made appearances in TNA Wrestling (now Impact Wrestling). He retired from pro wrestling in 2010. In 2011, Harris' left leg was amputated below the knee due to high complications with blood pressure and diabetes. His right leg was amputated below the knee in 2012.