Special Report

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

Source: Willis Kent Productions / Syndicate Pictures / Wikimedia Commons

20. Montie Montana (1910-1998)
> Hometown: Wolf Point, Montana

Montie Montana was a beloved cowboy figure in Southern California who appeared at events and parades in sequined western attire. Montana was a real-life cowboy who learned roping tricks as a child growing up in Montana. He moved to California and parlayed his roping skills into a career in movies. He also lassoed President Dwight Eisenhower — with the president’s approval — during the inaugural parade in 1953.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

19. Ab Saunders (1851-1883)
> Hometown: Mount Pleasant, Iowa

Ab Saunders was a cowboy and gunman and an associate of Old West luminaries Billy the Kid and Doc Scurlock. Saunders was a member of the Lincoln County Regulators, a deputized posse that was involved in the Lincoln County War, a prolonged dispute between rival business factions in New Mexico in 1878.

Source: Mark Mainz / Getty Images

18. Baxter Black (1945- )
> Hometown: Las Cruces, New Mexico

Baxter Black is a cowboy, philosopher, and poet who has served as a commentator on cowboy culture and rural life on National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition.” He once went on “The Tonight Show” and regaled host Johnny Carson with a poem titled “A Vegetarian’s Nightmare” that humorously suggests that plants feel pain.

Source: Chris Lott / Flickr

17. Casey Tibbs (1929-1990)
> Hometown: Fort Pierre, South Dakota

With so many farm hands off to fight in World War II, Casey Tibbs grabbed the opportunity to augment his family’s income by breaking horses. By the time he was 22, Tibbs was considered to be the best bronc rider in the nation. Tibbs became famous, eventually appearing in movies and making the cover of “Life” magazine. Tibbs lived a flamboyant lifestyle, favoring purple satin shirts and fast cars.

Source: Courtesy of The American Cowboy Chronicles

16. George Scarborough (1859-1900)
> Hometown: Louisiana

Son of a Baptist preacher, Scarborough became a cowboy when he was old enough to work in Texas. He was later appointed as a county sheriff and also worked as a U.S. Deputy Marshall chasing cattle rustlers. Later in his career, he moved to New Mexico and worked as a gunman for the Grant County Cattlemen’s Association. Scarborough was pursuing some members of the legendary Wild Bunch and got in a gunfight with them. He was shot in the leg and it had be amputated. He died the next day.

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