Baxter Black, America’s Popular Cowboy Poet, Has Died

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Baxter Black

Baxter Black, the nationally popular cowboy poet, storyteller, and philosopher of rural life in America, died Friday at the age of 77, it has been announced. He was a resident of Benson in Cochise County.

Back in January, a Facebook posting by Baxter’s wife Cindy Lou noted he was suffering from blood leukemia and a form of dementia.

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“Don’t forget to tell your friends and family how you feel about them. You never know when their time is up,” Cindy Lou wrote on Jan. 17.

At the time, news that Baxter was receiving hospice care at his Benson home led to an outpouring of heartwarming comments and reminiscence on social media. It also introduced younger generations to Baxter’s works as well as his once high profile celebrity.

Baxter was known for several decades for his poetry and storytelling. But unlike many country wannabes, his cowboy roots ran deep, as evident by his time competing in rodeo in the mid-1960s. He then earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, a profession and passion he worked at until the early 1980s, keeping him directly involved in the ranching world.

By the mid-1980s, many rural Americans knew of Baxter through his various performances at rodeos, FFA functions, and several other western or cowboy events.

Then an appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson introduced Baxter to a huge swath of urban Americans. This was followed by additional appearances with Carson as well as on other television programs.

This garnered Baxter a much wider audience which led over the years to opportunities to commentate about rural life on NPR, publish numerous books, and continue personal appearances at events across the country before officially retiring in 2021.

Baxter Black is survived by his wife Cindy Lou Logsdon Black whom he met at an annual convention of the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association.

A collaboration of performances

NPR Archives: Baxter Black on important skills  

13 Comments

  1. I had the great good fortune to see this extreme poet, wonderful storyteller and humorist perform in 1996 at the Great Pikes Peak Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
    RIP, Baxter. Guess it’s time to put the chairs in the wagon.

  2. Count me in as a lifelong city boy who became a big Baxter Black fan thanks to his NPR commentaries. My condolences to his wife and family — we’ve all lost a friend, even those of us who never met him.

  3. Dr. Black accompanied me on many cross state work trips via his CD’s. I laughed out loud, chuckled and cried over his stories of horses and people he related. I’ve read his poetry and as enjoyable as his writings are, there is nothing like listening to him in person/CDs. One of a kind, talented, with real life experiences related in a hilarious and heartfilled manner. He will be sorely missed but his work will live on in perpetuity!

  4. Myself and the Special Rangers of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association had the pleasure of meeting and visiting with Baxter at our convention back around 2014. A fine Christian man, Cowboy and philosopher! I have a photo of myself Hal Dumas and Baxter that I am mighty proud to have. We send God’s blessings and comfort to his family!

  5. I had the pleasure if being seated next to him at the Block and Bridle banquet at South Dakota State in 81 or 82. He borrowed my old Resistol hat for part of his conversation with all the attendees. Very interesting individual. I have always appreciated his writings and still listen to his poetry. The pearly gates are doing well today.

  6. My husband and I went to College with Baxter and thought he was one of the funniest people we knew. We have several of his books. Sorry to hear of his death, the world lost a great poet and humorist.

    • Did he mention you in a poem about obtaining help passing a class in college?

      I met him twice, first selling cassette tapes of his poems, I’m dating myself, and copies of his comic book Ag Boy!

      The second was at a cancer benefit some 15 years later. What a great loss…

  7. Quite the man. He will be missed. He was extremely supportive of Benson High School FFA, Future Farmers of America and other organisations. Again quite the man. America at its best. Our condolences to his family.

  8. I read Baxter’s articles each time it was in our paper.His article was the only one worth reading.Best damn vet on the planet

  9. Dear Cindy, I’m so sorry for your loss. I
    met your husband at Walmart in 2020.
    I remember thinking “ what an interesting
    Man” he ended by inviting me and my husband to your home.
    My heart goes out to you during this difficult time. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  10. Lovely guy whom I got know after joining forces with the widow of a classmateKent Kramer. Cleanest and funniest barnyard humor I’ve ever heard. Always a high point at Elko.

  11. DR BLACK WAS A GOOD FRIEND A COWBOY A VETERINARIN AGREAT ENTERTAINER I ASKED HIM TO SPEAK IN NEBRASKA AND HE HAD ME TAKE SOME SPEAKING HE COULDNT FILL HEAVEN IS RICHER WE ARE POORER REST IN PEACE DEAR FRIEND DR JOE JEFFREY KEEP ME POSTED

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