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Oklahoma Rodeo Legend Dies

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No one rode a bull like Jim Shoulders, and no one has since. The legendary cowboy's body held up, even after breaking both arms twice and his collarbone three times. On Wednesday, at age 79, his heart and kidneys retired. News On 6 anchor Terry Hood reports on the man who rewrote the record books.

It's eight seconds that made Jim Shoulders famous. Whether it was on the back of a bronco, or on top of a bucking bull, no one sat taller in the saddle than Jim Shoulders.

He got his break in rodeo because of World War II. Most of the best bull riders were fighting on the frontlines, so when a 14-year-old Oklahoma boy saddled up in the chute he didn't have far to go to make it to the top.

Shoulders won his first world title at 21. He'd go on to add 15 to that total, the most ever, cementing him in history as the world's greatest cowboy.

He hung up his hat in 1970, but his records still stand.

"I had no idea that I'd win that many, but I still say that's why they keep 'em so somebody can break 'em," Jim Shoulders said last year.

Last year, the legend sat down with Becky Dixon for her "Oklahomans" series.

"Ever scared?" Dixon asked.

"You was scared you wasn't gonna win something! That's what I was always scared of," said Shoulders.

"Because you had four kids at home and a wife to feed?" asked Dixon.

"That'll make you ride better," Shoulders said.

Shoulders was always devoted to his wife Sharon and his ranch near Henryetta. He was in Tulsa last year when the professional rodeo launched the “Jim Shoulders Great Western Weekend” to honor his contributions to the sport. Shoulders always said he was looking to leave a legacy.

"And I've always been one not to worry about the past,” he said. “Ain't a whole lot you can do about that, so you better worry about what you're doing now or what you're gonna do tomorrow."

Shoulders' memorial service will be held at the Rodeo Arena in his hometown of Henryetta Sunday at 2 p.m.

For folks who don't follow rodeo may remember Jim Shoulders best from the Miller Lite "Great Taste, Less Filling" commercials. To hear why he says shooting those commercials was the most fun part of his career, click here.

Watch the video: Famous Oklahoma Cowboy Dies
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