Thomas M. Briskey was the first director of the Birmingham Zoo at Lane Park. A former carnival operator, he was chosen by Mayor Jimmy Morgan during the development of the zoo. When the city formally took over operations in November 1955, the position was made subject to a civil service examination. When the exam process produced only a 29-year-old with limited experience, Morgan engineered a reorganization which kept Briskey in power.
Briskey was forced out after a secretary charged him with indecent exposure, improper advances, and threats in 1959. He was succeeded in August 1960 by Bob Truett, who had been in charge of the reptile house at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Illinois.
- Johnson, John W. (1972) "A History of Birmingham's Zoos". Urban Studies 102. University of Alabama at Birmingham - at the Birmingham Public Library