Add To Favorites
Bob Boykin, voice of State Fair's Big Tex, dead at 73
Austin American-Statesman - 2/10/2020
Robert "Bob" Boykin, who anonymously served as the voice of Big Tex at the State Fair of Texas for the past seven years, has died at the age of 73.
The State Fair of Texas announced his passing Monday but did not provide additional details about his death.
With great sadness in our hearts, the Fair is announcing the passing of the voice of Big Tex, Mr. Robert Boykin. Read more about this great man here, https://t.co/Z6mLF1RPhKpic.twitter.com/QXWTncFqNR
-- State Fair of Texas (@StateFairOfTX) February 10, 2020 Boykin, a military veteran, died on Jan. 23 and was buried with honors at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery on Jan. 29, according to the fair.
Officials said Boykin, who was born in Dallas and lived most of his life in North Texas, joined the Marine Corps after graduating college and then spent 40 years at aerospace and defense firm Lockheed Martin.
Boykin's wife said that he had dreamed of voicing Big Tex until he was given the opportunity after the 2012 fair.
<strong id="strong-3958de42f55fe6ef4eda02df370df09c">RELATED: View photos of Big Tex unveiled during the State of Fair of Texas in 2013
"People have bucket list items of things they want to do in their life," Terri Boykin said. "Bob never dreamed he would have the opportunity to voice Big Tex. But he was able to finish that item. He lived his dream."
The fair said Boykin – who nearly didn't audition and waited until 10 p.m. the night before the deadline to apply – outlasted a pool of 150 applicants and arrived for the final round of auditions "fully being himself -- good, honest and simple."
"One of his favorite parts of voicing Big Tex was being able to watch the crowds and see the look on a child's face the first time they saw the 55-foot cowboy in person."
The fair said he was known for sneaking out to talk to fair-goers during his breaks, yet many may have spoken with him without ever discovering his alter ego.
A celebration of his life was held this past weekend in Kaufman. According to the fair, details about finding a new voice for Big Tex will be announced soon.
"Thank you for bringing so much joy and life to our iconic cowboy, Bob. We will miss you deeply," the fair said.
(c)2020 Austin American-Statesman, Texas
Visit Austin American-Statesman, Texas at www.statesman.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.