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On December 5, 1870 a little boy of African, Caucasian and Cherokee heritage was born near Taylor, Travis County, Texas, to a former slave named Thomas Jefferson Pickett and Mary “Janie” Gilbert. That little boy, William “Bill” Pickett would grow up to be one of the most famous cowboys of all time. Young Bill attended school through fifth grade, quit and began the epic journey from school boy to super star cowboy as a ranch hand. Pickett was so adept at things cowboy, in 1905 he joined the 101 Ranch Wild West Show. As a member of the 101 show, Bill worked along side some other fairly well-known cowboys – Will Rogers and Buffalo Bill, to name a couple. Considering the times and this man’s heritage, what were the odds of him being perhaps the Greatest Cowboy of that era? Pickett thrilled audiences all over the world with his extraordinary skills and abilities. Bill Pickett died April 2, 1932 doing what he loved, being a cowboy and was honored accordingly in 1971 by being inducted to the National Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame and, in 1989, was named to the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. With credentials such as those, it’s no wonder Pickett was and by many is still called, The Greatest Cowboy.

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