Derrell was born in Beaumont. He passed away at the age of 45 in a tragic auto accident. He was a cowboy born to a cowboy family. His brothers, Hollis and Onis, shared his interest, and he joined the pro ranks in 1950.
He commonly entered all three riding events, but his personal favorite was the saddle bronc riding. He was known as a very tough cowboy in the bull riding, being the first cowboy to ever make 8 seconds on bull #71 of Homer Todd’s string. Throughout his career, he won or placed at almost every major rodeo he entered. He joins hsi brother, Hollis, in the Hall of Fame who was inducted in 2001.