HOUSTON - APRIL 04:  WWE 2009 Hall of Fame inductee Kevin Von Erich attends the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania's WWE Hall of Fame at the Toyota Center on April 4, 2009 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/WireImage)
The Tragic Story Of The Von Erich Family
The following story contains discussions of substance abuse, self-harm, and suicide.
Jack Adkisson, AKA Fritz Von Erich, helped pave the way for his family's future success by portraying a Nazi in the ring, making him a standout heel. Throughout the '50s and '60s, few people could generate the kind of nuclear heat that Fritz could, easily preying upon people's patriotism.
Fritz Von Erich
In 1952, Fritz and his then-wife Doris welcomed their first son, Jack Barton Adkisson Junior, into the world. In 1959, Jack Junior was electrocuted and subsequently drowned via a puddle in Niagara Falls, Canada — a precursor to the rampant tragedies that defined the Von Erich legacy.
Jack Junior
Born a year after one another, Kevin, David, and Kerry Von Erich began training from a young age for careers in pro wrestling. Following the end of his in-ring career, Fritz took control of World Class Championship Wrestling and proceeded to push his sons toward meteoric success.
Like Father, Like Son
The Von Erich brothers — Kevin, David, and Kerry — saw great success in pro wrestling during the '70s and '80s due to the wrestling boom at the time and the support of their father. The Von Erichs soon became household names, gracing television screens, the pages of comic books, and television commercials advertising the Pizza Inn restaurant chain.
As the best technical wrestler of the family, David Von Erich was en route to major success in pro wrestling, but on February 10, 1984, David was found dead in his hotel room. While rumors of a drug overdose persisted, he had actually suffered a tragic case of acute enteritis — resulting in ruptured intestines causing a subsequent heart attack.
David Von Erich