In the last 24 hours, two icons have passed. Their shared affinity for vices, compared with the widely divergent circumstances of their careers and deaths, emblematizes the tyranny and arbitrariness of state prohibition.
The first was legendary boxer Hector “Macho” Camacho (79-6), a three-time Golden Gloves winner and four time champion in three weight classes. Over three decades, he fought and beat most of the top fighters of his time before leaving the ring in 2010. Despite a few television projects and a devoted fan base, in the last few years he was dogged by legal problems, many of which were narcotics-related.
The second, Larry Hagman, was an actor: a star of film and television, most widely known for his portrayal of villainous oil tycoon J. R. Ewing in the long running (and recently reprised) TV series “Dallas.” Throughout his life he was plagued by serious drinking problems, culminating in a liver transplant in 1995. He also maintained a two-pack-a-day smoking habit for decades. Despite all of that, he had an inarguably successful career acting, producing, directing and writing.
On the evening of Wednesday, November 21st, Camacho and a friend were sitting outside of a bar in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, when both were shot. Police found a small bag of cocaine open in the car, and nine small bags in his friend’s pocket. Earlier today he was declared brain dead and taken off life support. He was 50.
Hagman died of complications relating to throat cancer in Dallas, surrounded by family and friends. He was 81.