George Jung, Who Inspired the Movie ‘Blow,’ Dies at 78

by Matthew Wilson
Photo credit: Greg Doherty/Getty Images

George Jung, the inspiration for the movie “Blow,” has passed away. Jung reportedly died on the morning of Wednesday (May 5).

According to TMZ, Jung passed away while at home in the Boston area. He was 78-years-old. Jung’s family hasn’t revealed a cause of death. But reportedly, Jung had battled liver and kidney failure recently and was in poor health. For the past few days, Jung was in hospice care clinging to life. He passed Wednesday morning with his wife, Ronda, and best friend, Roger, at his bedside.

Jung’s Twitter page confirmed his passing. The page posted a simple but eloquent tribute to the man along with a year of birth and death.

George’s Twitter account wrote, “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.”

George Jung Inspired the Movie ‘Blow’

If you don’t recognize the name, then maybe you’ll recognize the movie he inspired. The Johnny Depp film “Blow” chronicled George Jung’s life as a drug smuggler and trafficker. Jung was a major figure of the cocaine industry during the 1970s and 1980s.

Known as “Boston George,” Jung served a total of 20 years in prison for trafficking drugs. He wasn’t released until 2014. But he landed back in jail less that two years later. Jung violated his parole by flying the coop for a trip down to San Diego. He failed to let his parole officer know where he was going.

George Jung garnered international infamy for being part of the Medellin Cartel. He also worked with known drug kingpin Pablo Escobar for a time. Jung worked with Escobar to smuggle cocaine into America by the plane-ful. At the height of Escobar’s empire, he distributed a whopping 80% of the world’s cocaine supply. Thanks to Jung’s help, they smuggled around 15 tons of cocaine into the United States daily. That added up to around $420 million a week.

But most people will remember Jung for the movie he inspired. The former drug trafficker wrote a book about his experiences called “Blow: How a Small-Town Boy Made $100 Million with the Medellin Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All.”

In 2001, actor Johnny Depp portrayed him in an adaptation of the book. Penelope Cruz also starred in the production as well.