Robert A Crosby

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Robert Anderson Crosby (February 27, 1896 - October 20, 1947) was a three time World All Around Champion Cowboy (1925, 1927 & 1928) and permanent holder of the Roosevelt Trophy (on display at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States.[1][2] The ProRodeo Hall of Fame inducted Robert in 1983 as a rodeo notable.[3] Crosby was inducted into the Rodeo Hall of Fame of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1966.[4]

Bob Crosby was born on February 27, 1897, in Midland, Texas. Crosby was raised around Kenna, New Mexico. He became an experienced cowhand there. His first time as a rodeo contestant was in 1923. He entered a rodeo competition at New York's Yankee Stadium.[5] It was in the late 1920s that Bob discovered being a rodeo cowboy could sustain him. At 13, he won his first rodeo title. Will Rogers encouraged him to enter larger rodeos.[3]

Usually he entered all events, but then just the timed ones. He won the Roosevelt Trophy the first time in 1925 by competing in two rodeos and winning the all-around events at them. These are the Cheyenne Frontier Days and the Pendleton Round-Up. He again won in 1927-28. Winning three times establishes permanent possession of the trophy.[3] Fans began to know him as "Wild Horse Bob." He was an avid competitor. By winning the two rodeos three times, he had essentially retired the admired trophy. This was an incredible athletic accomplishment of accruing the most points in the bronc riding, steer roping, bulldogging, and wild horse events. All happened in an era before official titles existed.[5]

Crosby's featured events were roping. At Madison Square Garden, he won the calf roping title three times. At Pendleton, he won the steer roping title four times. At Cheyenne, he won the steer roping title twice. Around the 30's and 40's he participated in some matched steer roping events. They took place against Carl Arnold and the Weir brothers. He also owned his own ranch. The Cross B Ranch was located near Roswell, New Mexico.[5]

Crosby wore a battered old black hat that represented good luck. Once fans came to recognize the hat, they would cheer when he approached. He once stated, “Someday, to their surprise, I’m going to wear my Sunday hat and see if it’s the old black felt or the man they’re always cheering.” Bob Crosy died on October 20, 1947, in Roswell, New Mexico.[3] He had an accident in a Jeep near his ranch.[5] Crosby was declared the "King of the Cowboys" by Life magazine.[5]


  1. ^ Claude Stanush "King of the Cowboys" Life May 13, 1946 pp.59-62
  2. ^ Pollard, Janet Williams, and Louis Gwin. Harsh Country, Hard Times: Clayton Wheat Williams and the Transformation of the Trans-Pecos. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2011. p,37 Google books
  3. ^ a b c d "Bob Crosby - Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame". Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2017-04-12. 
  4. ^ "Rodeo Hall of Fame Inductees - National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum". National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Retrieved 2017-04-21. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Encyclopedia of the Great Plains | CROSBY, BOB (1897-1947)". Retrieved 2017-04-21.