Clarence Hailey Long

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Clarence Hailey "C.H." Long, Jr.
Clarence Hailey Long.jpg
BornJanuary 9, 1910
DiedJune 29, 1978 (aged 68)
ResidenceClarendon, Donley County, Texas
Spouse(s)Ellen Theresa Rogers Long (1925–2002, married 1951–his death)
ChildrenFive sons
(1) Though there were many Marlboro Man models over time, Long was the original inspiration for the Philip Morris cigarette advertising campaign, based on LIFE magazine photographs from 1949.

(2) Long's refusal to advertise beer won him the praise of his Baptist denomination.

(3) Long's tenure at the JA Ranch southeast of Amarillo partly corresponded with that of Tom Blasingame, considered the oldest cowboy in the history of the American West

Clarence Hailey Long, Jr., often known as C.H. Long (January 9, 1910 – June 29, 1978), was the rugged Texas cowboy sensationalized as the original Marlboro Man. Long, then foreman of the JA Ranch, was catapulted to national attention in 1949, when LIFE magazine published a series of Leonard McCombe photographs on ranching in the American West. Long was the basis of the popular Marlboro cigarettes advertising campaign for Philip Morris, but other models followed through 1999.[1]

Long was born in Paducah, the seat of Cottle County in the southern Texas Panhandle. He worked on the 320,000-acre (1,300 km2) JA Ranch southeast of Amarillo and originally established by John George Adair, a native of Ireland, and Charles Goodnight, the best known of the Texas cattlemen. During World War II, Long served in the United States Navy in the South Pacific.[2]

The then 39-year-old, 150-pound Long was described as a "silent man, unassuming and shy, to the point of bashfulness [with a] face sunburned to the color of saddle leather [with cowpuncher's] wrinkles radiating from pale blue eyes." He wore "a ten-gallon Stetson hat, a bandanna around his neck, a bag of Bull Durham tobacco with its yellow string dangling from his pocket, and blue denim, the fabric of the profession".[3]

Long's Marlboro photographs led to marriage proposals from across the nation, all of which he rejected. In 1951, at forty, Long wed the former Ellen Theresa Rogers (March 21, 1925 – July 29, 2002), a Massachusetts-born nurse who came to the JA to care for young Cornelia Wadsworth "Ninia" Ritchie, daughter of ranch manager Montgomery Harrison Wadsworth "Montie" Ritchie. The Longs had five sons: Clarence, Roger, Walt, Grant, and John. At the time of her death, Ellen was residing in Raton, the seat of Colfax County in northeastern New Mexico. "Ninia" later married future Texas State Senator Miles Teel Bivins of Amarillo, whose family also owned ranching properties. Their son, Andrew Bivins, a graduate of the ranch management program at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, took over management of the JA in 2005.[2]

In 1953, Long joined the First Baptist Church of Clarendon, the seat of Donley County/

His father, C. H. Long, Sr., was in charge of the Hereford herd on the JA, but died when thrown from a bronco. Subsequently, Long Jr. was offered a $20,000 annual contract to advertise beer. His declining of the offer was highlighted in the June 25, 1955, edition of the Baptist Standard newspaper. Long left the JA in 1956.[2]

Long's tenure at the JA partly paralleled that of Tom Blasingame, known as the oldest cowboy in the American West, having died at the age of ninety-one in 1989, after having worked in ranching for seventy-three years.

Long joked that "If it weren't for a good horse, a woman would be the sweetest thing in the world."[4]


  1. ^ Life Magazine, August 22, 1949;
  2. ^ a b c C.H. Long, Jr., exhibit, Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, Canyon, Texas
  3. ^ Google Books: Shooting from the Hip: Photography, Masculinity, and Postwar America - Patricia Vettel-Becker ISBN 0-8166-4302-4, page 117
  4. ^ 100 Photographs that Changed the World by Life - The Digital Journalist