Share

Geronimo was born in June of 1829 near the Gila River in what today is southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. He was part of the Bedonkohe Apache tribe and died February 1909, as a prisoner of war in Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Geronimo was the leader of the last American Indian fighting force to formally surrender to the United States. Because he held out the longest, he became the most famous Apache of all time. Some even say that he had magical powers, was immune to bullets and could walk without leaving footprints. To the first settlers of Arizona and New Mexico, he was a bloody-handed murderer, and this image endured through the years. In recent history, the operation to kill Osama Bin Laden was given the code name “Geronimo.” Bin Laden, like Geronimo, had evaded capture for years. But various Native American Indian tribes urged President Obama to rename this military code name, condemning the linking of the Apache warrior Geronimo to the terrorist Osama Bin Laden.

Another controversy surrounding Geronimo is that his skull might have been stolen from his grave in Fort Sill and is kept in the Skull & Bones secret society headquarters at Yale University, as a sort of war trophy.

No doubt that Geronimo has turned into a legend and is at the core of many unresolved mysteries.

Native American artist Bob Haozous, 71 years old, declares “For what I’ve heard from my grandfather, who was in the wars with Geronimo, he said, he is just a man”.

Activist Carlos Meléndrez, close to native american causes, wrote the book “America! Don’t you know me? I’m your native son: Geronimo. The Controversial Campaign to Repatriate the Remains of America’s most famous Warrior to his Homeland”, to share the findings he learned after a lawsuit filed in 2009 to repatriate Geronimo’s remains from Fort Sill to his native land.

“I was born on the prairies where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures”- Geronimo.

Photo by H H Clarke/Getty Images