One of wrestling's biggest stars in the the pre-WWF days, he won multiple North American Wrestling Alliance titles.
He was a standout wrestler at Oklahoma State, winning NCAA championships - the first Native American to do so.
A strong believer that wrestlers were athletes first and entertainers second, he nevertheless had a knack for self-promotion that few of his fellow wrestlers could match.
He grew up the surrogate father to six of his younger siblings, one of which would become his championship tag team partner.
He and his brother owned a minority stake in Georgia Championship Wrestling, and convinced its shareholders to give a controlling interest to Vince McMahon.