While we are awaiting more details on Brisco's passing, he had quietly undergone a triple heart bypass several weeks ago and had been in a rehab center. He had been having health issues dating back to last year and had canceled several appearances due to them.
An extremely great in-ring worker. Brisco won the NWA World championship from Harley Race on 7/20/73, holding it through December 1974. At the time, holding that championship was a grueling job, traveling the world while visiting all the different NWA member territories.
Brisco's series against Dory Funk Jr. is considered the template for great in-ring wrestling rivalries. Brisco was originally scheduled to defeat Funk for the NWA championship but an accident forced Funk into the hospital and the match to be canceled. When Funk returned to the ring, he dropped the belt to Harley Race, who later lost it to Brisco.
Brisco always held a multitude of Tag Team championships with his brother Gerald.
Although he is most notably acknowledged as an NWA legend, Brisco is also one of the most important names when it comes to the early days of WWF history. Brisco and his brother Gerry (aka Gerald Brisco the Mr. McMahon stooge during the Attitude era) secretly sold their stock in Georgia Championship Wrestling to McMahon, allowing McMahon to fold the company and usurp it's TBS timeslot to create a monopoly on national television outlets. That sale set into motion the series of events that followed over the next several decades with McMahon falling out of favor with Ted Turner, Jim Crockett buying the timeslot from the WWF, the end of Crockett Promotions, Turner buying Crockett out and creating WCW, the Monday Night Wars, etc.
Brisco retired from the ring in the early 1980s, deciding he didn't want to keep up with the horrendous travel the WWF schedule required at the time. In his book, he noted he simply opted to go home to Florida, where he remained, opening the Brisco Brothers' Body Shop. Brisco released an autobiography in 2004 and made convention appearances from time to time as late as last year.
Brisco and his brother Gerry were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in March 2008.
For more details on Brisco's incredible career, check out his biography at www.jackbrisco.com.
Our deepest condolences to Brisco's family, friends and fans.