State Fair of Texas mourns the loss of Bob Boykin, voice of Big Tex

Bob Boykin with Big Tex (State Fair of Texas)

The man behind the famous “Howdy, folks!” has passed away.

The State Fair of Texas announced Robert "Bob" Boykin, who has been the voice of Big Tex for the past seven years, died last month at the age of 73.

Boykin was born and raised in Richardson. He served in the United States Marine Corps and then designed aircraft for Lockheed Martin for 40 years.

Bob Boykin in the booth at the State Fair of Texas (State Fair of Texas)

He became the behind-the-scenes voice of Big Tex years after he worked as an announcer at a local race track to pay for college.

Boykin's wife said following the State Fair of Texas in 2012, he auditioned for what he called a bucket list item – to be the voice of the iconic cowboy.

She said one of his favorite parts of voicing Big Tex was seeing the look on a child’s face the first time they saw the 55-foot cowboy in person.

Boykin was the sixth person to voice Big Tex.

He was buried at DFW National Cemetery with military honors.