All Inductees

Warren Gunn

Gunn got his start in rodeo as a teenager at Soldier Field in Chicago during the 1933 World’s Fair. Warren Gunn, who lived most of his life in Houston, quickly moved into local rodeos as a saddle bronc and bull rider, appearing regularly at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. He also performed frequently in rodeos at the Calgary Stampede in Canada and Madison Square Garden in New York City.

A professional bareback, saddle bronc, and bull rider, he was a founding member in 1936 of the first rodeo association, The Cowboys’ Turtle Association, which became the Rodeo Cowboys Association and then the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, of which he was a Life Member. He was honored at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas in 1997 as “one of the early rough stock riders.”

Gunn also worked as a cowboy in those years on ranches in Texas, including some in the Houston area. He was among the organizers of the Cowboys Turtle Association. After World War II, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association supplanted the CTA, and Gunn was named to its Hall of Fame in 2000.

Gunn was born in Kosse in Limestone County. His mother moved to Houston in 1927 with her son and two daughters after a divorce. Unable to provide for her children, she sent them to the Methodist Children’s Home in Waco, where they lived for several years.

Warren Gunn graduated from San Jacinto High School in the mid-1930s. Before joining the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, he helped build the Big Inch pipeline, which transmitted petroleum products from Texas to the northeastern United States during the war. Gunn later founded and was president of Certified Quality Control, which did welding inspections on the Alaska Pipeline. He also was a union organizer in the pipeline industry and, along with his wife, Maxine Looney Gunn.

A registered breeder of Hereford cattle and quarter horses, Gunn owned ranches in Giddings, Fredericksburg, and, in partnership with his son, in Mason. The Gunns lived in Houston until the late 1970s, when they moved to Fredericksburg.