Controversial former leader of the American Hare Krishna movement, Swami Bhaktipada, who was imprisoned in the U.S. in some criminal cases, has died after protracted illness at a private hospital here. He was 74.
Cancer and renal failure
Bhaktipada, also known as Kirtananda Swami, was undergoing treatment for cancer and renal failure since July.
He was born Keith Ham in 1937 in Peekskill, New York, to a Baptist minister and became a disciple of the Hare Krishna movement founder, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
In 1968, he founded the largest Hare Krishna community in America called New Vrindaban, located in the hills near Moundsville. However, by the mid-1980s, the place got mired in controversy.