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HONG KONG, HongKong [HK]
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Famous American Expat in Shenzhen dies in his apartment in China

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American expat in Shenzhen, Mark Wolf, who was known as "the foreigner most familiar to Shenzhen residents," died of possible heart failure at his home at 61 in Luohu District on Nov. 30.

His body will be returned to the United States via the American Consulate in Guangzhou, police said Monday. Wolf was found dead when his cleaner came to his apartment in Xiangxi Building, police said.

"I was shocked at the news. He came to our eatery the night before and looked as lively as usual. He was such a funny, energetic and enthusiastic man," said a waiter at a nearby rice noodle eatery.

Wolf came to Shenzhen in 1996 after traveling through several Chinese cities. He always said he was a foreigner with a Chinese heart.

"I had been looking for a home for years and when I arrived in Shenzhen, I found myself feeling at home here," said Wolf in a TV interview.

Wolf made his name in Shenzhen when hosting a popular English training program on SZTV. After teaching English for several years, he became a professional drummer and earned a living by performing.

"It is difficult to support yourself by performing. For Mark, he could make about 3,000 yuan (US$454) per show in Shenzhen and a little more when performing in other cities. He was not rich, but he would never miss a charity performance," said Ma Shijian, a member of his band.

Wolf liked to take the stage wearing a T-shirt with Chairman Mao’s image or the words "Serve the People."

He was involved in the making of a film in August, but he will never get to see it, said Ma.

Wolf spent most of his spare time wondering around Xiangxi Village and Jiabin Road. "He was familiar with every shop and restaurant in the village. He liked eating roadside barbeque and rice noodles, and drinking beer at night. Because of his distinct beard and T-shirts, people would often ask to take a picture with him. He never refused," said an owner of a convenient store surnamed Chen.

Wolf used to write stories for Shenzhen Daily around 2002 and has been mentioned in the paper several times. He was also invited to correct poorly translated road signs in March.

Source: Shenzhen Daily

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