Everett Shaw was born on a farm on Hogshooter Creek near Nowata, Oklahoma, on June 7, 1908. After a childhood on the farm he entered rodeo as a successful calf roper in the early 1920s, but by the end of his career he had become a living legend in steer roping. Nevertheless, he won the tough and prestigious calf roping competition at Madison Square Garden in 1934, 1936, and 1939.
When Shaw decided to focus his career on steer roping, he showed his true skills, capturing the Rodeo Cowboys Association's national title of Champion Steer Roper in 1945, 1946, 1948, 1951, 1959, and 1962. The Oklahoma cowboy beat the time of great ropers that included New Mexico-born World Champion Cowboy "Wild Horse" Bob Crosby, as well as Oklahoma-born cowboys Ike "Jitney" Rude (Mangum, 1894-1985) and Shoat Webster (Lenapah, 1923- ), all of whom were among rodeo's toughest competitors.
Athletic ability aside, Everett Shaw made an enormous contribution to the sport of rodeo when, in 1936, he took part in the founding of the Cowboys Turtle Association, a rodeo performers' union that demanded and received increased prize purses for competition. This insured that future competitors would receive an equitable share of the considerable profits made by rodeo producers. Shaw served on the union's board of directors a total of twenty terms.
After winning his last roping event in 1977, Everett Shaw retired to his ranch near Stonewall, Oklahoma. In May 1979 the Oklahoma State Senate passed a special resolution commending him as one of Oklahoma's greatest cowboys. On November 11, 1979, he passed away.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Willard Porter, Who's Who in Rodeo (Oklahoma City, Okla.: Powder River Books, 1982). Richard Rattenbury, "Everett Shaw," in "American Rodeo, [exhibit script]," National Cowboy Hall of Fame, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. "Everett Shaw," Vertical File, Rodeo Historical Society Hall of Fame, National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
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