George Jung, Inspiration Behind Movie ‘Blow’, Dies Aged 78
George Jung, the inspiration behind the movie Blow, has died at the age of 78.
As reported by TMZ, Jung died this morning, May 5, at his home in Boston with his wife Ronda and friend Roger at his side.
A cause of death has not been given at the time of writing. However, it’s understood that Jung had recently been suffering from liver and kidney failure.
As reported by TMZ, Jung had been cared for in home hospice since the weekend. It’s understood that he will be cremated, however no further information has been given about Jung’s funeral arrangements.
Known as ‘Boston George’, Jung served 20 years behind bars until his eventual release in 2014. Just two years later, he was imprisoned once again for violating the terms of his parole.
The story of Jung’s life inspired the 2001 American biographical crime film Blow, which starred Johnny Depp as Jung.
Jung’s Twitter account has tweeted a quote from the movie in tribute:
May the wind always be at your back and the sun upon your face, and the winds of destiny carry you aloft to dance with the stars.
During his years as a drug trafficker, Jung had been a member of the infamous Medellin Cartel, where his criminal activities included helping Pablo Escobar to smuggle cocaine from Colombia into the United States.
Jung start out moving cannabis from California to Massachusetts, where the drug could be sold at a far higher price.
However, after realising he could turn a bigger profit by buying his product directly from producers in Mexico, he changed tack.
While serving time in Danbury, Connecticut, in 1974 – after a busted heroin dealer gave up his name – Jung learned from his cellmate, Carlos Lehder, about the amount of money that could be made in the cocaine business.
In 2000, Jung opened up about his lifestyle at this time during an interview with PBS Frontline:
I was a guy who had a lot of money and unlimited access to cocaine and even if I looked like Bela Lugosi I still had the most beautiful women on the planet because everybody at that time, especially women, were in love with cocaine and of course in love with the money – the access to the automobiles, the clothes, the dinners, the lifestyle.
Basically I was no different than a rock star or a movie star. I was a coke star. At that time I really didn’t know who I was, to be honest with you. I was snorting a lot of cocaine and I had lost myself to a great degree.
A lot of people, everybody was starting to realize what the coke was all about and they were all starting to get lost.
Yeah, I began to wonder a lot what the hell it was really all about. Especially, [because] they say that the marijuana business is done with a handshake and the cocaine business is done with a gun. All the violence that was taking place surrounding this business – I mean, it was distasteful as hell to me.
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of George Jung at this difficult time.
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