Big Tex
1952 - 2012
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A fire destroyed Big Tex Friday October 19 at the State Fair of Texas.

The blaze was reported shortly after 10:15 a.m. at the fairgrounds in Dallas.

"It's a very sad day for all fair-goers," fair spokeswoman Sue Gooding said. "We did lose the clothes, his hat and head," she said.

Allen Ferrell, who was visiting the fair with a church group from North Richland Hills, said the fire was short-lived.

"Big Tex was done in about 10 minutes," he said.

Gooding said smoke was first seen coming from Big Tex's neck, and she suspects the fire was electrical in nature. A motor moves the mouth of Big Tex as he greets all fair-goers with a "Howdy, folks."
Published in Dallas Morning News from Oct. 19 to Oct. 20, 2012.
Memories & Condolences
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497 entries
October 30, 2012
60 years of happy celebration. We'll all miss you Big Tex!
Collin Patterson
October 30, 2012
Dear Tex—For the last 53 years, on the last day of the Fair, I've stopped by you on my way out the gate and said, "Goodbye Big Tex! I'll see you next year, if I'm still alive!"

I never thought for a moment that you'd go before me—you were a true and good friend and a loved citizen of Dallas...I will miss you.
Debra Moore
October 29, 2012
Awww...Tex, man! This is so hard; you were the beacon for me every year when I got separated from my family while eating at every food stand possible...BT, I will miss you so...hurry back, now.
Goldie Kennard
October 29, 2012
Tex, you were already gone when we arrived at the fair; your absence was felt immediately...everything seemed off-kilter without you there. We can hardly wait to see you again, my old friend.
Love you, big guy.
Cookie Baker
October 26, 2012
Goodbye old friend. I will always remember the good times we have shared together. Oh, the stories we could tell! What is it we used to say "Better to out in a blaze of glory than a whimper. You did just that. I'll miss you my friend.
Susie
October 26, 2012
MISS YOU EVERY DAY

LOVE
PATTY
October 25, 2012
I will truly miss you big guy luv ya dot
October 24, 2012
sad.
October 24, 2012
Good By Old Friend. I hope the great people of Texas rebuild you like the "bionic man" really soon. God Bless & RIP. Fond Memories on Road-trips. Missing you in Arizona.
October 24, 2012
Howdy Folks. I have gotten better Advice from Big Tex than my own father. You will be missed
Hank Hill
October 24, 2012
R I P. BIG GUY.
gone, but NEVER forgotten.
see ya next year.
julie luedke
October 24, 2012
I was truly saddened when I heard the news. We'll miss you big guy!
Sarah
October 23, 2012
Enjoyed seeing you every year, like an old friend. Looking forward to seeing the "new & improved" you next year!
Laurie
October 23, 2012
There were tears in St. Louis when we heard the news about your demise, Big Tex. Maybe you can grow a few more inches in your reincarnation and be taller than the giraffe at the Dallas Zoo!
Ann Apprill
October 23, 2012
First saw you when I was 6 and you were only 2 in 1954.The wife and I were there opening day this year and saw you in all your glory! Good bye old friend and a Dallas landmark! See you next year and we'll start over again.
October 23, 2012
RIP, big buy. I was fortunate enough to see your smiling face the day before you were tragically cut down in the prime of your life. You brought so many smiles, so much joy, to countless people. You brought families back together. You were more than a giant talking statue. You were the face of our great Fair, and our great state. We shall await your reincarnation next year, though nothing will ever take your place in our hearts. We love ya!
Lina Miller
October 23, 2012
I never knew ya but you were like a big brother to me.
October 23, 2012
It was a good run with a lot of great memories. You'll be missed!
Kristi M.
October 22, 2012
Big Tex you will always be remembered.....You were the highlight of the fair....can't wait to c you next year....A New You...
October 22, 2012
Brother Big, you have blessed us with your gentle smile and kind words. You will forever be missed.
Jasmyne Gray
October 22, 2012
RIP BIG TEX YOU WILL BE MISSED :)
Kaprecia Yarbrough
October 22, 2012
Big Tex it is so sad that your gone physically but you will always live in our hearts. Our Love for you is as big as the State you Represent. RIP
Sincerely
Kathy Johnson
Kathy Johnson
October 22, 2012
Big Tex you will always stand tall in my heart. You will be missed

Sincerely
Carrie Bowser
Carrie Bowser
October 22, 2012
RIP Big Tex You will be missed!!!!!!!!
Doris Pennington
October 22, 2012
Much love !!!!!
Karlen Warren
October 22, 2012
You were the original most interesting man in the world.
October 22, 2012
Final Rodeo - RIP Big Tex
Cyndi and Larry Copling
October 22, 2012
You will be missed
Chad Watt
October 22, 2012
Big Tex and I are the same age and have pretty much the same birthday (Oct. 14). I didn't get to come to the fair the first year since I was only a few days old.
I will miss you, but I trust they will recreate you by next year.
Tom Gipson
October 22, 2012
"The Last Picture Show"ing Big Tex with Cyndi and Larry
After 58 years living in the shadow of Big Tex, finding him so fascinating as a child and watching him change his look with the latest styles, it really broke my heart to see him engulfed in flames, still smiling. Goodbye to a 60 year era and a childhood icon. Even though he will be remade "bigger & better than ever" as the mayor says, there's a nostalgic piece of him that is gone forever and only memory remains.
RIP Big Tex... I loved you.
Cynthia M. Wilson Parker-Copling
October 22, 2012
Big Tex, the first landmark I visited when I came to Texas in 1974 . RIP in that big ranch in the sky.
R Johnson
October 22, 2012
I been going to fair since I was a little and that is the first thing i wanted to see.I will miss you deeply.R.I.P.
SHEILA BURLEY
October 22, 2012
RIP Big tex
October 22, 2012
I have attended the fair for 50 years and Big Tex was always a tradition. We would not go anywhere until we visited Big Tex and heard you talk. You are like a family member. Im so glad that I took many pictures throughout the years. You were always a great State Fair icon. Happy Trails. Thanks for the memories. Susie O
October 22, 2012
He's not dead! He's just severely injured. He'll be back next year!
Deb C
October 22, 2012
RIP Big Tex
Julie P
October 22, 2012
Rest In Peace Big Tex I will miss you....
Preston Johnson
October 22, 2012
SEE YA NEXT YEAR BIG TEX

LIBBY
October 22, 2012
Gone but never forgotten.
Lesia D
October 22, 2012
From a native Texan who grew up with you ~ RIP Big T!
Cheryl Strenger
October 22, 2012
You will be truely missed !!!! R.I.P BIG TEX
venitrice austin
October 22, 2012
You will be missed Big Tex!!! See you at the crossroads.
Jay and Scoot Greer
October 22, 2012
Rest in peace Big Tex!!!!!
Cassandra Rusk
October 22, 2012
We gone miss you big dawg
jeffrey foley
October 22, 2012
It is truly a sad time for Dallas, you are a part of our family and you are loved by all. You will be greatly missed. Until we meet again <3
Amy Stamper
October 22, 2012
You will be missed Big Tex
Danielle Thompson
October 22, 2012
Big Tex it was so fun to know you were Santa first and that you always made people happy. RIP Tex and Happy Trails
Cynthia Brightwell Rockwall Texas
October 22, 2012
WE WILL MISS YOU.
JUDY HOLLAND
October 22, 2012
Get Well soon! can't wait to see you next year
Alma Aguilar
October 22, 2012
Like all good Texans, he died with his boots on! I know things are big in Texas, but I am worried how we will find "Big Tex" a casket...
October 21, 2012
Bye big tex, you will be deeply missed.
October 21, 2012
Big Tex, thanks for being the best 52 foot tall cowboy on the face of the planet. You certainly proved that the state of Texas is far superior than any other, and for that you are a hero. Stay classy my man
Jackson Barth
October 21, 2012
Goodbye Mr. Big Tex, You will be missed and loved. Thanks for watching over the lost people who always meet at your feet
Steven Brashear
October 21, 2012
I have fond memories of Big Tex as both a child and as an adult. The good thing is that he will be rebuilt next year. Instead of laying wreaths on the site, I would prefer people to make a donation to their favorite charity in Big Tex name.
October 21, 2012
Gone but never forgotten!!
E Woodson
October 21, 2012
Sorry to see that Big Tex is gone but will be back in 2013. I remember when I work at the pleace where his clothes where maded one year. He will be messed until the new one is back.
October 21, 2012
Every year since I was a kid up until this very day I would go to the State Fair to take a picture with Big Tex. This will sadly be the last year I will have taken a picture with our true big friend. I am just so thankful I managed to get a picture with him before he passed on. We love you Big Tex! We will never forget you!
October 21, 2012
I love you Tex and I love the man who has done your voice for so long. They say rebuild but I don't agree. You can't rebuild perfection.
Susan Oliver
October 21, 2012
Adios compadre!
October 21, 2012
Gary Duncan
October 21, 2012
Good bye old friend. We were friends from your beginning. Glad to know you will be back.
Ruth Duncan
October 21, 2012
I too have fond memories of yearly trips as a child to the State Fair with my family. Seeing and hearing Big Tex was an integral part of the excitement that I looked forward to. The saddest part for me on Friday was that Big Tex 'died' on my birthday. So I will add to my wonderful vivid memories of the extraordinary event that is the State Fair, the 1st Big Tex. RIP.
Katherine Vrba
October 21, 2012
I have only lived in Texas for 3 years, a transplant from Oregon. I was strangely drawn to this giant cowboy and finally made my way to Dallas this year to see him live and in person. I was impressed! Imagine my shock to see him engulfed so suddenly in flames. wow. I hope he is rebuilt for the next 60 years of fairgoers.
Marcia Beaudry
October 21, 2012
I'm a long time customer of the Fair. Now, in the 21st Century, it's time to re-build Big Tex with the latest and best technology.
Tom B
October 21, 2012
I think my email did not go thru. I and my brother are standing in front of Santa. Does anyone else know who is in picture, maybe Linda, Joyce Ann, Ruby?? Used to go with my dad up to H Brister's office on Sat. mornings. Kerens was great place to grow up.
judy Davis Robert
October 21, 2012
And where, pray tell, am I now to meet with the lost members of my Fair party?
October 21, 2012
If I have to 'go' by fire, I hope I will be as controlled as Big Tex was, talking cordially to the firefighters/EMTs as the fire consumed him. And I don't even think he had committed any heresy, though he had been equally welcoming to Fair attendees from Oklahoma.
October 21, 2012
Love you Big Tex! Glad I got to see you one last time!
Dallas Boykin
October 21, 2012
I was really shocked when I heard & seen pictures of Big Tex in flames. He was basically part of my childhood. But my boyfriend took it really hard when I told him about it, he's the one that actually referred me to this site. But you will be missed, & never forgotten. We will see you again soon old friend.
Jennifer Marady
October 21, 2012
R.I.P Big Tex,I've seen and heard you every since i was a kid and first started going to the fair,you hold a big place in my heart big fella.No matter how much you cost or how big you were,its the sentimental value all of us from Dallas feel.One of our true Dallasites went down but you won't be forgotten,thanks for all the good times and memories!See you next year in your new wardrobe buddy.
#TrueTexasIcon
#DallasPride
Kendric Linebaugh
October 21, 2012
Big Tex was a big part of my memories as a child visiting the State Fair of Texas. Fair day was a family outing and the icon and constant staple of the fair was Ole Tex. We will miss you BT.
Sonya Spencer
October 21, 2012
Will be waiting on your return. You are part of what makes our state the GREATEST. Love you, Big Tex.
Pam Van Weelden
October 21, 2012
Sad news, it's like losing an old friend in Texas. Hugs from Downunder.
tom maguire
October 21, 2012
many years~ many more memories,many many turkey legs you've seen me destroy. Well * SO LONG PARDNER...Dont worry yourself... You've done your job well. You can rest easy now... I will miss but not forget you.
Jay Compton
October 21, 2012
It was so sad to see you go after all these years, but we are looking forward to seeing a new you next year.
Paula Cole
October 21, 2012
I've never heard of Big Tex until I saw this story, but seeing an icon like this go up in flames really made me sad. I hope he's back next year and better than ever! :)
Tonya Jackson
October 20, 2012
Goodbye,dear, beloved old friend loved and missed by so many Texans.
Always in our hearts.
Helene D.
October 20, 2012
Awww so sad We will miss u Big Tex. The Andrassy Family.
tonya andrassy
October 20, 2012
One of my very first memories was of my father, a Dallas police officer, taking me to see the brand new Big Tex at the State Fair of Texas and I will never forget that big booming voice from Big Tex! I thought he was real and it is one of the most treasured memories of my rather long life.
Now bot Big Tex and my Dad are gone and,yes, it DOES make tears come into my eyes.
I was born in Texas so this means a lot to me.

"Big Tex welcomed fairgoers with his friendly drawl of "Hoooowwwdeee, fooolllllks!" and makes regular announcements throughout the duration of the State Fair of Texas. His booming voice has been played by only a few men over six decades, who perform every day of the fair from a booth known as the 'doghouse.'
Former disc jockey Al Jones was the first voice of Big Tex, filling the role for only one season in 1953. Radio announcer Jim Lowe, the most well-known voice of Big Tex, performed for 39 continuous years until 1998. Dan Alexander stepped up for the next two years. In 2001 a statewide competition and contest, held live at the Cotton Bowl, announced Sonny Ray Stolz as the next voice of Big Tex. But after only one season he was replaced with runner-up Bill Bragg in 2002."
Hope I will be around to welcome the next Big Tex.
60 years is a good,long run.
Goodby, friend. Loved by so many!
Helene
October 20, 2012
How many times has it been said "I will meet you at Bit Tex", good by old friend
Ron Garrett
October 20, 2012
No one will ever be able to fill your boots, Big Tex. Vaya con Dios. We will miss you.
Robin
October 20, 2012
Thanks for the many years of enjoyment to hear your voice and see you when I was a kid. RIP my Texas hero
October 20, 2012
God bless Big Tex.
Sad day for Texas.... Big Tex has there since I first saw him in 1952 at age 5... Gone for now but never forgotten...
Don Riddler
October 20, 2012
Part of my heritage as a fourth generation native Dallasite, Big Tex will always be The Man for me. Hope to see a Big Tex, Jr. next year so my grandbabies will have one too.
Genevieve Graffeo Stubbs
October 20, 2012
RIP Big Guy -- and come back soon!
Suzanne Gulley
October 20, 2012
Oh soooo sad! Big Tex was an icon along with the ferry wheel for Fair park from I-30. Will miss seeing him when traveling I-30. RIP
R. Hayes
October 20, 2012
Big Tex was right up there with the creepy clowns on the screen towers of the Buckner Blvd., the Chalk Hill, and the NW Hwy Drive-In Theatres. Now the last of these icons is gone. They may re-build him, but they'll never replace him. RIP, Tex!
Steve Schaffer
October 20, 2012
We love ya, Big Tex!
Gilmer
October 20, 2012
Wreath at the feet that aren't there.
RIP I ve seen you withyour head off but not gone.
Saturday morning the memorials are piling up. Its hard to come to grips with the absence of a thing.
Helen Duran
October 20, 2012
Sad...Day of the Dead...May his spirit rise above
Gaby Pruitt
October 20, 2012
thank you for the fun times knowing you were watching over us just to see us having a wonderful day ,knowing our BIG TEX would want it that way always live good be happy always.
jason j a good
October 20, 2012
Love you Big Tex!
I was about 5 yrs. old the 1st time I saw & "met" Big Tex when living in Dallas. I enjoyed him the 1st time I met him & each time after that too. He was just so much a part of not only the State Fair, but of Texas period. I am SO SAD, that I won't be able to introduce him to my husband who is an Arkansan & never met Big Tex. We had JUST been talking about making a trip to Texas & of course, no trip to the fair will be a trip w/o seeing Big Tex there. RIP my friend.
Paula Graves
October 20, 2012
Wasn't he a cowboy on The Expressway even before he became Santa Claus? I knew Jack Bridges who built him--he did some great pieces for a musical I was in. He was very, very creative.
October 20, 2012
Big Tex your lose it felt across Texas. You are a Texas Legend. Rest in Peace you were loved by millions.
L. B.
October 20, 2012
Rest in Peace, Big Tex. You will forever be remembered.
Laura Goosby
October 20, 2012
Big Tex you brought so much joy to my life, whether it was Fair time, or simply driving by on I-30...just know you were loved and brought so much joy to many..rest in peace..your purpose has been completed
Donnie Caruso
October 20, 2012
this candle is for every one who wrote for tex.my prayers to all of you all.
October 20, 2012
You are a "true Texas" legacy!!! Yesterday was a very sad day!
Natalie Beach
October 20, 2012
Thanks for the memories Tex!
K P
October 20, 2012
My Heart fluttered with Joy this year when I saw you go up It let me know that it was time for the state fair. Every year you stood out from the crowd and saw everything. Sad sad sad to see you go up in smoke. R.I.P. So until next year. Rest well because you will draw many from all around just to check you out. Stand tall and wave to everyone.
shirley mccallister
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