Infamous drug trafficker and smuggler George Jung, who was portrayed by Johnny Depp in the 2001 biopic Blow, died on Wednesday at age 78.
TMZ reports that people close with the former cocaine druglord, who was part of the Medellin Cartel in the ’70s and early ’80s, died at his Boston-area home. The cause of death has yet to be announced, but Jung had reportedly been suffering from liver and kidney failure prior to his death. He was in hospice care since at least last week, and died with his close friend Roger and girlfriend Ronda by his side.
Jung was known under the nicknames El Americano and Boston George in his heyday, and was allegedly responsible for up to 90 percent of cocaine smuggled into the United States when he was actively smuggling. After he was arrested in 1974 for attempting to smuggle 300kg of marijuana through Chicago, he was sent to prison. Throughout his lifetime, he served 20 years behind bars, and was released from his longest sentence in 2014. He briefly returned to jail after he was arrested for a parole violation in 2016, and was free again by summer 2017.
Jung’s life story was most famously adapted as Blow, which was based on the 1993 book Blow: How a Small Town Boy Made $100 Million with the Medellin Cocaine Cartel and Lost it All. The film performed below expectations at the box office and received middling reviews.