DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Big Tex wasn’t always Big Tex.  He got his big start as “Big Santa” in Kerens, Texas November of 1949.

The novelty wore off and “Big Santa “was out of a job.

The State Fair of Texas bought the 52-foot tall giant for $750 bucks.

There he underwent the transformation that would make him THE SYMBOL of the State Fair of Texas.

He made his debut in 1952. He was quiet at first.  But found his voice the following year.

In 1997, Big Tex was 45 and no longer the spring chicken he once was. The State Fair rebuilt his body with 42-hundred feet of steel rods fashioned into a cage-like frame.  A lanky 6,000 pounds, barrel chested Big Tex never felt better.

In 2000, he could turn his head and wave.  His popularity never waned.

Big Tex will be remembered for that friendly attitude and big man’s western wear.

You can put the entire defensive line into that waistband and it would fit comfortably.

At 60, Big Tex left, passed along with his boots on.

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