DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Texas has lost an iconic voice as Bob Boykin, the current voice of Big Tex at the State Fair, has died at the age of 73.

The State Fair of Texas announced his passing Monday morning but did not say how he died. According to the fair, he died on Jan. 23 and was buried with honors at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery on Jan. 29.

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Officials said Boykin was born in Dallas and spent most of his life in North Texas. He joined the Marine Corp after graduating from college and then spent 40 years at Lockheed Martin.

According to his wife, Boykin dreamed of voicing Big Tex before he was given that opportunity after the 2012 fair.

“People have bucket list items of things they want to do in their life. Bob never dreamed he would have the opportunity to voice Big Tex. But he was able to finish that item. He lived his dream,” Terri Boykin said.

Bob Boykin (Credit: State Fair of Texas)

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Boykin auditioned to be the voice and to follow in the footsteps of Bill Bragg, who was the voice from 2002 to 2012 before his death in late June 2019.

“From more than 150 applicants to just four, Bob showed up to the final round of auditions, fully being himself – good, honest, and simple. He got the job,” the fair said in a press release.

According to the fair, Boykin voiced Big Tex under anonymity. Officials said he was known to talk to fairgoers during his breaks but that no one would know that he was voice.

(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

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“Thank you for bringing so much joy and life to our iconic cowboy, Bob. We will miss you deeply,” the fair said.