Chickasaw Nation Hall of Fame member Gerald Brisco is no stranger to the limelight. This Seminole, Oklahoma native once traveled the country as Jerry Brisco, one half of the famed professional wrestling tag team known as The Brisco Brothers.
Between 1969 and 1984, Gerald and his older brother Jack won numerous tag team titles, championships and awards. After his wrestling career came to an end, Gerald continued to work with Vince McMahon to help make the World Wrestling Federation (now World Wresting Entertainment) a global business; along the way, he discovered the likes of Hulk Hogan and other superstars.
In 2006, Gerald was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, and in 2010, he was named to the USA Wrestling Indigenous Committee, an organization providing Native Americans and other minorities the opportunity to attend wrestling camps sponsored by USA Wrestling. In the same year, he helped form the International Olympic Committee with the goal of gaining representation in the games for North American indigenous people as a sovereign nation.
"It boils down to two things: family support and being a Chickasaw," he said. "Having that blood run through me, that competitive spirit ... it runs hard, it runs red and it's all Chickasaw."
He and his wife, Barbara, have two sons, Joseph and Wes, the latter of whom is also a professional wrestler. As a coach, Gerald continues to share his love of wrestling with younger generations and says it's a pleasure to watch both their confidence and skillset grow. He recalls one student in particular who lost 25 matches in a row-and the day he finally won.
"There's nothing more rewarding than watching a kid that didn't know a wrist lock from a wrist watch, and you teach him, and he works hard at it ... and to see him win a match for the first time, and the referee comes across and raises this kid's hand ... wow," he said. "It doesn't get any better. That's why you do it."