The most famous rodeo champion of all time tells his amazing true story -- and opens a fascinating window into the world of the professional cowboy.
Ty Murray was born to be a rodeo star -- in fact, his first words were "I'm a bull rider." Before he was even out of diapers, he was climbing atop his mother's Singer sewing machine case, which just so happened to be the perfect mechanical bull for a 13-month-old. Before long, Ty was winning peewee events by the hatful, and his special talent was obvious...obvious even to a man called Larry Mahan. At the time the greatest living rodeo legend, six-time champion Mahan invited a teenaged Ty Murray to spend a summer on his ranch learning not just rodeoing but also some life lessons. Those lessons prepared Ty for a career that eventually surpassed even Mahan's own -- Ty's seven All-Around Championships.
In King of the Cowboys, Ty Murray invites us into the daredevil world of rodeo and the life of the cowboy. Along the way, he details a life spent constantly on the road, heading to the next event; the tragic death of his friend and fellow rodeo star Lane Frost; and the years of debilitating injuries that led some to say Ty Murray was finished.
He wasn't. In fact, Ty Murray has brought the world of rodeo into the twenty-first century, through his unparalleled achievements in the ring, through advancing the case for the sport as a television color-commentator, and through the Professional Bull Riders, an organization he helped to build.
In the end, though, Ty Murray is first and foremost a cowboy, and now that he's retired from competition, he takes this chance to reflect on his remarkable life and career. In King of the Cowboys, Ty Murray opens up his world as never before.
This breezy autobiography is an excellent insider's glimpse into the roughshod world of the contemporary competitive rodeo business, of which Murray is undoubtedly a superstar. The youngest rider to win the world all-round championship, Murray is also the first to win it seven times, the first to win more than one million dollars in prize money, and the first to successfully market himself to a wider sports-world audience. Although Murray is only in his early 30s, he manages to cover substantial ground here, from family roots in the famous Miller Brothers' 101 Ranch in Arizona and riding his mother's Singer sewing machine--"the perfect mechanical bull for a thirteen-month-old"--to early professional success at age 19. Part of the book's charm comes from Murray's gleeful acknowledgment that he is living the life he has always wanted to live,"from the time I was old enough to walk." Murray also credits growing up in a family of riders, and gaining early support and training from legendary rider Larry Mahan--whose six-time championship record Murray would go on to break--and successfully recovering from serious knee and shoulder surgeries that he describes in unsparing detail. Murray's story embodies the substantial change in the rodeo-rider image from old Western movie cliches to its current incarnation in the slick but still entertaining Professional Bull Riders organization. Murray's sizable fan base is certain to rope this one in, but the book's engaging style has the ability to draw in readers unfamiliar with his story.