All Inductees

Dwight Graham

Dwight Graham was born to Bill and Annie Graham on September 28, 1929, in Quinlan, Texas. Although not born into a rodeo family, Dwight developed a great love for horses at an early age. He was most influenced by Keith Barnett, a calf roper. By the age of twelve, Dwight was entering jackpot calf roping and occasionally would enter the bareback riding. Dwight soon learned that rough stock events were not for him but went on to become one of the best calf ropers around. Remarkably, he missed very few cattle during his entire career and didn’t miss any in 1962.

Dwight moved to Mesquite in 1943 and joined the R.C.A. in 1946 at the Pleasant Mound Rodeo, owned by Charlie McNally, who founded what is now the Mesquite Rodeo. To compete in an approved rodeo, Dwight was told he needed to join the R.C.A., so he paid his $5.00 and became a professional cowboy. Dwight traveled with Bill Mullins, Byrle Hartsell, Windy Ryon, Don McLaughlin, and George Brown.

In 1947, Dwight roped at the first-ever high school rodeo held in Halletsville, Texas. After graduating from high school, he attended Texas A&M College. Post-college, Dwight went to rodeos throughout Arkansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Cheyenne, competing against and often beating some of the best ropers in the world. Highlights of his career include winning or placing at the Mesquite Rodeo thirteen times in a row, and his proudest wins were in Memphis, Tennessee, and Pine Bluff, Arkansas, which occurred simultaneously. The last R.C.A. Rodeo Dwight entered was in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1971.

Dwight’s career included many matched ropings, being defeated only twice in 30 years. He credits much of his success to his horses, Doc, Crutch, Ben, and Burt. Dwight states the best roping horse he ever saw was Badly, owned by Clyde Burke and later by Jack Skipworth and Troy Fort. The best roper he ever saw was his father-in-law, Arthur Newton, foreman of the Jose Ranch.

Dwight loves rodeo, but most of all, he loves the people involved in it. Fond memories include playing golf with Bill Linderman, Bill Fedderson, and Pat Scudder. Dwight is a P.R.C.A. gold cardholder, #2408, and an active supporting member of the Rodeo Cowboy Alumni, Cowboy Old Timers, and Friends of Rodeo. Now retired as a state manager for a national feed company, he has lived in and around Tyler, Texas, for 35 years.

Dwight is the father of two sons, Don and Joel. Don was a rodeo cowboy, and Joel likes horses but prefers them “under the hood.”