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Posted : 2006-10-26 17:00
Updated : 2006-10-26 17:00

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A man pays his condolences to the late Kim Il, a former pro wrestler, at a hospital in Seoul, Thursday. Kim died at the age of 77.
/Korea Times Photo by Hong In-kee
By Kang Seung-woo
Staff Reporter

Former pro wrestler Kim Il, who dominated professional wrestling in the 1960s and ’70s, died Thursday afternoon in a hospital in Seoul. He was 77.

An official at the Eulji General Hospital, where Kim had been hospitalized for 10 years, said that the late wrestler, who had been plagued by chronic diseases including complications from diabetes and hypertension, passed away at 12:17 p.m.

According to the hospital, the cause of his death was a heart attack brought on by renal insufficiency and kidney failure.

On Wednesday, as his blood pressure suddenly lowered, he was transferred to the intensive care unit. CPR, or Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation, was performed but to no avail.

The bald-headed Kim moved to Japan in 1957 and started wrestling there under the guidance of Kim Shin-rak, known by the Japanese name Rikidozan, and won the World Wrestling Association heavyweight championship. He stayed in the ring for 30 years, claiming the champion’s title 20 times.

Kim is survived by his wife, Lee In-soon, two daughters, Ae-ja and Soon-hee and one son, Suan. A remembrance altar has been set up at Eulji General Hospital and a funeral service will be held Saturday afternoon.

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