All Inductees

Junior Meek

Born on April 4, 1936, in Cleburne, Texas, Junior Meek found his way into bullfighting at an amateur rodeo in Walker, Louisiana, produced by Virgil Stafford, who lacked a bullfighter. Meek offered to fight bulls (despite having absolutely no experience) if Stafford would pay his entry fees for bull riding and steer wrestling. Stafford agreed, and following Meek’s successful bullfighting debut, Jim Dyer, owner of the auction barn in Amite, Louisiana, paid for Meek’s RCA card.

Meek fought bulls and competed in his first professional RCA rodeo in Franklinton, Louisiana, in 1954. Throughout 1955, he worked and competed in various rodeos across Texas and Louisiana, entering bull riding, steer wrestling, and occasionally calf roping events.

Junior Meek had a highly successful twenty-year career as a bullfighter, known also for his many comedy acts, including performances with a white pony that delighted audiences. He was among the highest-paid clowns in the industry during his era and was the first to consistently jump over bulls at each performance. His demand was high because of his willingness to jump over a raging Brahma or perform a cartwheel over a bull that had just thrown its rider. His athletic ability and creativity made him extremely popular with bull riders and kept audiences captivated. He worked alongside many top rodeo clowns, such as Bobby and Gene Clark, Buck LeGrand, Kajun Kid, Wilbur Plaugher, and Slim Pickens, but his partnership with George Doak was notably long-lasting.

In 1966, Meek also competed in the National Finals in Steer Wrestling, making him one of only three rodeo clowns to compete in the National Finals while clowning, and finished 10th in the world.

Over his career, Meek participated in major rodeos across twenty-eight states, Canada, Cuba, and Australia, covering a wide range of locations from Cowtown, New Jersey, and Madison Square Garden, to Kissimmee, Florida, Fort Worth, Phoenix, San Francisco, Pendleton, Oregon, Walla Walla, Washington, Cheyenne, Denver, and many in between.

Though he retired from rodeo competition and bullfighting in 1974, Junior Meek remained active within the rodeo community, attending rodeos, old-timer events, rodeo clown reunions, and entertaining athletes at Texas Special Olympics. Meek believes in giving back to the community as a token of gratitude for the prosperous life rodeo provided him.