George Jung — the Infamous Drug Smuggler Who Inspired Johnny Depp's 'Blow' — Has Died
The man also known as Boston George who worked alongside Pablo Escobar was 78
Published May 05, 2021George Jung — the infamous cocaine smuggler portrayed by Johnny Depp in Blow — has died.
While details are still murky, TMZ reports Jung — a.k.a. Boston George — died this morning while at home in the Boston area. A cause of death has not yet been revealed, but he had been battling liver and kidney failure and had recently been put in hospice care. Jung was 78.
The news was quickly confirmed this morning on Jung's Twitter account, which posted the following quote "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. 1942-2021."
Jung rose to infamy as Boston George and became one of the world's most infamous and well-known drug smugglers as part of the Medellín Cartel — the infamous organization responsible for an estimated 90 percent of the cocaine trade into the U.S. in the '70s and '80s.
Also known as El Americano, Jung made his name by smuggling thousands of kilograms of cocaine out of Colombia over the years, with one of his first major deals being in 1975 when he flew hundreds of kilograms of cocaine from Pablo Escobar's Colombian ranch to the U.S. This plan could be seen coming to life in the first season of Netflix's Narcos series.
While only a middle man, Jung went on to make millions off this plan of using small airplanes to transport drugs out of Colombia and into the U.S. By charging $10,000 USD per kilo, he eventually was making a reported $15 million per run and in the 1970s was earning between $3 million to $5 million per day through drug smuggling.
In 1987, Jung was arrested in the U.S., though with the help of Escobar, he eventually saw release. Later in 1994, Jung was again arrested — this time with 1,754 pounds (796 kg) of cocaine in Kansas. He went on to serve 20 years in prison in the U.S. for drug smuggling and was eventually released on June 2, 2014. In 2016, however, Jung was again arrested for a parole violation, leading to his eventual release in 2017.
Jung's life story was turned into a biopic with 2001's Blow, which starred Johnny Depp as Jung. The film was based on Bruce Porter's book Blow: How a Small-Town Boy Made $100 Million with the Medellin Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All.