Duane Tibbs was born March 5, 1929, 50 miles northwest of Fort Pierre, South Dakota,
in a log cabin on the family homestead on the Cheyenne River to John F. and Florence
M. (Leggett) Tibbs. He attended rural school at Orton Flat. At 14 years of age,
Casey started riding in rodeos in South Dakota. By 15, he was trailing bucking stock
from rodeo to rodeo for Bud Anis and had moved on to nationwide competition.
In 1949, at age 19, Casey became the youngest man ever to win the national saddle
bronc-riding crown. Between 1949 and 1955, he won a total of six PRCA saddle bronc-riding
championships, a record still unchallenged, plus two all-around cowboy championships
and one bareback-riding championship.
For many years, Casey wrote a syndicated newspaper column, "Let'er Buck," for Rodeo
Sports News. He also wrote, produced and starred in the movies "Born to Buck" and
"Young Rounders," and starred in the movie "Bronc Busters." Casey was a regular
in stunt work in television and the movies. In 1958, Casey appeared on the television
show, "This Is Your Life," with Ralph Edwards. That year he took a rodeo troup to
the World's Fair in Brussels, Belgium. In 1973, he introduced rodeo to the Japanese
with 162 performances of his troup.
was one of the founders of the Rodeo Cowboys Association, dedicated to improving
the image of cowboys and professional rodeo. He always had time to visit children
in hospitals and did charity work with groups such as 4-H. His picture appeared
in such diverse places as the cover of Life magazine, Roy Rogers Funny Book, counter
check blanks, countless newspapers and books. His name has been used on streets,
buildings, rodeos and much more. Casey has been described as being to rodeo what
Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig were to baseball, what Jack Dempsey and Muhammad Ali were
to boxing and what Red Grange was to football. In August 1989, Casey was awarded
the Golden boot from the Motion Picture and Television Relief Fund for his contribution
to the industry. A larger than life bronze statue of Casey riding the famed bucking
horse Necktie was dedicated in August of 1989 at the Prorodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame
in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Casey passed away on January 28, 1990, while watching the Super Bowl at his home
in Ramona, California. He is buried in the Scotty Philips Cemetary in Fort Pierre,
Casey rode this bronc on a bet. He rode blindfolded and
looking backward. He made the ride and won the bet.