Special Report

The 30 Most Famous Cowboys (and Cowgirls) of All Time

Source: stevecoleimages / Getty Images

30. Clay Carr (1909-1957)
> Hometown: Farmersville, California

Clay Carr was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1979. His family owned the Gill Ranches in California where he developed a variety of roping and riding skills. As a rodeo cowboy, Carr won five world championships over a 25-year career that took him to competitions in Australia and England.

Source: Courtesy of KRTV

29. Reg Kesler (1919-2001)
> Hometown: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

Canadian-born Reg Kesler was known as a leading stock contractor and rodeo producer. His animals were selected as top bucking stock at events such as the National Finals Rodeo and the Montana Circuit Finals. Before getting into the business side of rodeo, Kesler competed in saddle bronc, bareback riding, bull riding, roping, and steer wrestling. He is a member of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.

Source: Courtesy of bendellkarate.com

28. Don Bendell (1947- )
> Hometown: Akron, Ohio

Bendell is a rancher, martial arts expert, and prolific author whose works include “Coyote Run” and “Blood Feather.” He also wrote, produced, directed and co-starred in the movie “The Instructor.” Bendell, who is a Vietnam War veteran and former Green Beret, owns a 146-acre ranch south of Florence, Colorado.

Source: Beineke Library, Yale University / Wikimedia Commons

27. Slim Whitaker (1893-1960)
> Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri

Slim Whitaker appeared in more than 300 films, from the silent film era to post-World War II. Much of his work was in B-westerns, portraying bad men. Before he got into movies, Whitaker was working the rodeo circuit in his late teens. He became a cowhand at the Chowchilla Ranch in central California in the early 20th century. As westerns started becoming popular in the early years of movies, Whitaker was hired as a stuntman by Gilbert M. “Bronco Billy” Anderson.

Source: Donald Miralle / Getty Images

26. Mike Lee (1983- )
> Hometown: Billings, Montana

Mike Lee is one of the greatest bull riders of all time. Lee has 50 Professional Bull Rider wins; he has finished in the top five 177 times; and he is the sixth highest PBR money winner with $3.9 million in winnings. Lee said on Facebook in November that he was going to redirect his bull riding career to other associations.

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