Brito began his career as an offensive end, catching 45 passes in his first two seasons before being moved to defensive end in 1953. He was named the NFL Player of the Year by the Washington D.C. Touchdown Club after the 1955 season. Brito played in the Canadian Football League for the Calgary Stampeders in 1954 where he was an All-conference selection in the CFL's Western Conference. In the NFL he was a five-time Pro Bowler in 1953 and from 1955 to 1958. He was selected as one of the 70 Greatest Redskins, a list compiled by the Redskins in 2002 to commemorate the 70-year anniversary of the team. He is one of four defensive ends on the team, along with Dexter Manley, Ron McDole and Charles Mann.
Brito was a staff sergeant in the U. S. Army and an Army paratrooper with U.S. forces in the Pacific during World War II.
Brito was elected posthumously to the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1989. He hosted "The Gene Brito Show" which aired prior to Redskins games in the 1950s making him one of the first NFL athletes to host a show and making him the most popular Redskins of his era. He was then-Vice-President Richard Nixon's favorite player. Brito died on June 8, 1965 of ALS at the age of 39.