MATTRESS FIRM FOUNDATION wrote -
Our favorite Texas giant, Big Tex, bid farewell today but not without giving his friends at Mattress Firm one last task: raise money in his honor for the State Fair Scholarship fund.
A nationwide icon for 60 years, Big Tex was the poster child for southern hospitality and charm. Help us share his bigger than life heart with deserving high school students in the state of Texas.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM:
Established in 1992, the State Fair of Texas Scholarship Program has awarded approximately $3 million in new and renewed scholarships. The fund is open to eligible high school seniors from around the state who participate in State Fair livestock shows and to outstanding students attending these Fair Park-area high schools: Lincoln, James Madison, North Dallas, Woodrow Wilson or the Irma L. Rangel YWL School. Recipients receive a $5,000 grant, renewable in $1,250 annual increments if the student maintains a 3.0 GPA toward their college degree at a Texas university and/or community college.
ABOUT BIG TEX:
1952 The statue was transformed into a giant Cowboy, his name was changed; and the character BIG TEX was born. The big guy made his debut in late October of that year; as the official symbol of the Great State Fair of Texas! Many changes to the face and body were made that first year, and TEX (along with his trade mark western clothing) has continued to evolve over the years. Dallas artist and stage designer Jack Bridges was hired to update the face of BIG TEX. Mr. Bridges used a photograph of his own face, a photograph of rancher Doc Simmons and a photograph of Will Rogers, to create the new look.
1953 BIG TEX talks for the first time! Over the years, six (6) different persons have performed the voice, but the most remembered voice was that of Jim Lowe. Mr. Lowe was a pioneer broadcaster in Dallas, and had the top rated morning radio show on WRR-AM for many years. BIG TEX says "H-O-W-D-Y" about 60 times a day during the State Fair each year.
1997 The original body was rebuilt and now includes a cage-like skeleton with 4,200 feet of steel rods.
2000 BIG TEX was able to move for the first time, and began to wave to the millions of State Fair visitors who passed by each year on their way to the famous "Million Dollar Midway".
HEIGHT: 52 Feet
WEIGHT: 6,000 Pounds
HAT: 75 Gallon, measuring 5 feet high
SHIRT: The Williamson-Dickie Company will cover TEX's 30 foot chest with a shirt that
has a 100 inch neck and 181 inch long sleeves. This is 600 times larger than the shirts they sell in the stores. The buttons are 3 and a half inches in diameter and the shirt contains 70 yards of blue denim and 80 yards of awning material. It took 2 weeks and a team of 8 workers to make the shirt at the Dickies work-ware plant in Fort Worth, Texas.
BELT: 23 feet long, with a 50 pound buckle
PANTS: Size 284W x 185L. The rivets are 3 and a half inches in diameter, the inseam is 200 inches, the fly is 56 inches long and his pants weigh a total of 65 pounds. And, the Dickies' folks worked a week to sew the new pants.
BOOTS: Size 70, measuring 7 foot 7 inches high