WHAT HISTORY HAS TAUGHT ME
True West|October 2021
BEN NIGHTHORSE CAMPBELL, U.S. SENATOR, ARTIST, OLYMPIAN

For over 60 years, Northern Cheyenne artist Ben Nighthorse has been creating beautiful, one-of-a-kind, award-winning jewelry. His life’s journey has included captaining the 1964 U.S. Olympic Judo team, serving in the U.S. Air Force, training champion horses, serving in the Colorado State Legislature, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate. In his political, personal and artistic pursuits, he has broken barriers and opened doors for greater understanding.

My dad always told me to do the best I can and to be the best I can be. You might not be the best, but you can be the best you can be.

My mother always loved America because she was an immigrant. Like most immigrants who come from a country with very little upward mobility, there was always room in America to do better. She came through Ellis Island in the early 1900s and memorized the words on the bottom of the Statue of Liberty.

The dumbest thing anyone ever said to me is, “Don’t take a risk, don’t take a chance.”

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine