Highwire performer Jay Cochrane dies at the age of 69

Nov. 1, 2013 at 3:50 PM
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NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Record-breaking highwire performer and Sudbury, Canada, native Jay Cochrane died at the age of 69 of pancreatic cancer, officials said.

Cochrane, also known as the Prince of the Air, began his highwire career in 1970 in Toronto, and has since gained worldwide fame, the Niagara Falls Review reported.

In 1981, Cochrane lived on a highwire in San Juan, Puerto Rico for 21 days, and in 1995, he built the world's largest highwire that stretched over China's Yangtze River and was 1,350 feet in the air.

In 2002, Cochrane became a fixture in Niagara Falls during the summer, when he crossed a highwire 750 feet above the ground between the Skylon Tower and Hilton hotel daily.

"Jay's adult life was founded upon two great desires: To perform the greatest, most spectacular, high-wire feats the world has ever seen and to bring joy and hope into the lives of children in need," Cochrane's publicity manager Mark D. Phillips said in a statement issued Wednesday night, adding that Cochrane's life was "like a story from an adventure novel or a movie."

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