Murray at the premiere for Earth in April 2009
October 11, 1969 |
Phoenix, Arizona, United States
|Spouse(s)||Jewel (m. August 7, 2008; d. July 2, 2014)|
Ty Monroe Murray (born October 11, 1969) is an American nine-time World Champion rodeo cowboy and co-founder and board adviser of the Professional Bull Riders (PBR). He also provides color commentary during the PBR's Built Ford Tough Series events on CBS Sports Network.
Murray was born in Phoenix, Arizona to Joy and Butch Murray. He has two sisters, Kim and Kerri. Murray's father, who is of Irish descent, is a former rodeo hand who owned a business in which he operated starter equipment at horse racing venues all over the United States. Ty Murray's mother was a young rider in the National Little Britches Rodeo Association and won first place in the national Little Britches Rodeo Bull Riding competition. As a child Murray was taught rodeo fundamentals by his father and mother. Later he was mentored by then world champion bull rider and all-around cowboy, Larry Mahan, who had won more National Finals Rodeo (NFR) first place "All Around Cowboy" championships than anyone in history. At the age of 9, Ty Murray was asked by his school teacher to write a paper on what he wanted to be when he grew up. His entire essay was as follows: "I want to break Larry Mahan's record".
Murray competed in the Arizona High School Rodeo Association where he was the All-Around Champion Cowboy and led Arizona to its first National High School Rodeo Association Championship in 1987. He was also the National All-Around Champion that year, competing all the rough-stock events as well as cutting. He went to Odessa College where he competed in rodeo for the school. When he turned 18, he joined the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). Murray became the youngest PRCA All-Around Rodeo Cowboy, according to the Guinness Book of Records.
Murray won the World All-Around Rodeo Champion title seven times (1989–1994, 1998), being the top money-earner in bareback, saddle bronc, and bull riding events for those years. Additionally, Murray won the PRCA World Bull Riding Championship title in 1993 and 1998.
After tearing his posterior cruciate ligaments, first in his right knee and later in his left, Murray had both knees reconstructed in 1995. He was out of rodeo for a year. During that time he bought a 2,400+ acre (8 km²) ranch in Stephenville, Texas. In 1996, six weeks after his return to rodeo, he damaged his shoulder during the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Bud Light Cup Series' George Paul Memorial bull riding event in Del Rio, Texas. Surgery laid him off for another year, costing him a major sponsor. His comeback in 1997 was astonishing — then he broke his shoulder at the PBR Bud Light Cup Series event in St. Louis, Missouri, laying him off for another year. After a total of three years off, Murray came back in 1998 to win the PRCA All-Around Championship for the record seventh time, as well as his second PRCA World Champion Bull Rider title. He also qualified for the PBR Finals in 1998 and finished 20th in the PBR world standings that year.
In 1999 Murray met singer/songwriter Jewel Kilcher, whose father had been an Alaska All-Around Rodeo Champion, and they became a couple. The two married in 2008 on a beach in the Bahamas. Murray joined the PBR full-time in 2000 (after dividing his time between the PBR and PRCA in the years prior). He qualified for the PBR World Finals from 1994–96 and 1998-2002, but did not compete at the finals in 1995, 1996, and 2002 due to injuries. He and Jewel wrote the song "Til We Run Out of Road" about Murray and Cody Lambert. Jewel also mentioned him, though not by name, in her song "Stephenville, TX". She appears with him in one of the "Man Law" commercials. On July 11, 2011 Jewel gave birth to their son, Kase Townes Murray.
Murray was the reserve world champion (second place) bull rider in the PBR from 1999 to 2001. In April 2002, after a neck injury during the PBR's Bud Light Cup Series event in Billings, Montana, Murray officially retired from bull riding, and rodeo competition altogether. At the 2002 PBR World Finals Murray was inducted into the PBR's Ring of Honor.
Murray was featured in the Miller Lite "Man Laws" series of commercials. He is a frequent announcer on televised PBR Bull Riding events. He took product endorsement deals to the next level, when he refused to sign for less than his perceived value. Ty's hiring of an agent made it acceptable for his fellow cowboys to hire agents, so that paid endorsements have become a lucrative adjunct to a cowboy's yearly earnings.
As of 2014, he is an ongoing board member of the PBR.
In November 1999 Murray appeared as himself in an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger in Season 8, Episode 8 titled "Widow Maker".
In 2007 Murray, along with his wife Jewel, appeared in the ABC reality television series Fast Cars and Superstars: The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race, featuring a dozen celebrities in a stock car racing competition. In the first round of competition, Murray matched up against skateboarder Tony Hawk and actress Krista Allen.
On February 8, 2009 it was announced that both Murray and Jewel would be contestants on the eighth season of Dancing with the Stars, signifying the first time a husband and wife appeared as contestants on the show in the same season; however, Jewel had to withdraw from the competition due to an injury sustained during pre-season practice. Murray was partnered with new Dancing with the Stars professional dancer Chelsie Hightower. Murray was eliminated in the tenth week semifinals.
- Ulrica Wihlborg. Jewel and Ty Murray Welcome a Son, July 12, 2011, People Magazine
- Miller Lite > Home of the Original Lite Beer
- Susan Elzey (August 10, 2007). "Reality TV vet tries his hand at rodeo". Retrieved August 10, 2007.
- ""Celebrity Holiday Homes" (HGTV.vom)". Retrieved December 6, 2009.
- ""Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (ABC.com)". Retrieved February 1, 2010.
- "Upcoming RAW guesthosts (WWE.com)". Retrieved February 3, 2010.