James King (pictured as a child) had a difficult upbringing, starting with his mother's alcoholism. The king showed during episode of My 600 Pound Pound Life that his father raised him and his brother because of the struggle of their mother, and he saw her only “three times” in childhood. “She was drunk every time,” he said.
As soon as King’s father married a woman with four children of their own, the family went from “what they needed” to “be really poor,” he explained. The TLC star never knew if they had enough food, so he began to overeat as a survival mechanism. He called food his “joy and safety,” forcing him to quickly gain weight.
At age 15, things changed for the worse when King reunited with his biological mother, but after a few months lost due to liver cancer. The loss was dire for a native of Illinois, as he "never had the opportunity" to completely restore contact with his mother. Then, when they buried King's mother, the family received a call that their house was burned in flames. “I just lost everything that I had in one day,” he said.
King lost the ability to control his relationship with food, and his life developed from there.
Unfortunately, King is not the only TLC star who has lost her life in recent years – My 600 pounds. A life"Sean Millikan passed away at 29 in 2019.