Brito on a 1955 Bowman football card
|Date of birth:||November 23, 1925|
|Place of birth:||Huntington Park, California|
|Date of death:||June 8, 1965 39)(aged|
|Place of death:||Duarte, California|
|NFL Draft:||1951 / Round: 17 / Pick: 196|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Gene Herman Brito (November 23, 1925 – June 8, 1965) was an American football Defensive end in the National Football League who played nine seasons for the Washington Redskins and the Los Angeles Rams from 1951 to 1960.
Brito, born to a Spanish-American father and Mexican-American mother, grew up in Lincoln Heights, a then mostly Italian American neighborhood, located in Los Angeles. His father was a boxer, and he had two younger sisters. Brito attended Lincoln High School where he was a standout athlete.
Brito began his career as an offensive end, catching 45 passes in his first two seasons before being moved to defensive end in 1953. He was named the NFL Player of the Year by the Washington D.C. Touchdown Club after the 1955 season. Brito played in the Canadian Football League for the Calgary Stampeders in 1954 where he was an All-conference selection in the CFL's Western Conference. In the NFL he was a five-time Pro Bowler in 1953 and from 1955 to 1958. He was selected as one of the 70 Greatest Redskins, a list compiled by the Redskins in 2002 to commemorate the 70-year anniversary of the team. He is one of four defensive ends on the team, along with Dexter Manley, Ron McDole and Charles Mann. In 2004, he was named to the Professional Football Researchers Association Hall of Very Good in the association's second HOVG class
Brito was a staff sergeant in the U. S. Army and an Army paratrooper with U.S. forces in the Pacific during World War II.
Brito was elected posthumously to the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1989. He hosted "The Gene Brito Show" which aired prior to Redskins games in the 1950s making him one of the first NFL athletes to host a show and making him the most popular Redskins of his era. He was then-President John F. Kennedy's favorite player. Brito died on June 8, 1965 of ALS at the age of 39.
- Cannon, Robert L. (1995-01-01). https://books.google.com/books?id=lHJrkIxwhMcC&pg=PA382&dq=Gene+Brito&hl=en&sa=X&ei=QwyqUfKBNpDo8QSiuYDYAQ&ved=0CEwQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=Gene%20Brito&f=false. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 382. ISBN 0313284318. External link in
- "Hall of Very Good". Retrieved July 13, 2016.