National Public Radio (NPR) reports that Baxter Black, the popular cowboy poet, has died at the age of 77.
Black’s death was announced on Friday. The direct cause has not been provided. But, it is known that Black’s health took a turn for the worst in recent months.
Earlier this year, Black’s wife, Cindy Lou Logsdon Black, revealed on social media that her husband had a type of blood leukemia as well as dementia. At the time, she wrote:
Don’t forget to tell your friends and family how you feel about them. You never know when their time is up.
After that, it was discovered that Black was receiving hospice care at his home in Benson, Arizona, which fans responded to with overwhelming support.
Who was he?
The Arizona Daily Independent aptly describes Black as “the nationally popular cowboy poet, storyteller, and philosopher of rural life in America.”
Initially, Black worked for a feed yard before going on to graduate from veterinary school. And, it is while practicing as a large-animal veterinarian that he began performing for cattlemen, cowboys, and others.
From there, Black would go on to speak at various events across the country, to write books and columns, and even to appear on television. Black, in fact, was so successful that he ended up making an appearance on Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show.
Black sold over a million books and audiobooks during his lifetime.
What is it that fans liked so much about Black’s work? AG Daily writes:
Black’s poetry was often based on real-life situations, and he seemed to find humor in even the less humorous and western situations. The performer even referred to being “down to no keys” at a point in his life, a time when he had nowhere to call his own and nothing to drive. However, he didn’t stay down long.
“I like what I do.”
Black once said:
I like what I do. I have a great home to come home to, a couple good horses, a few cows, a good dog, and friends everywhere I go. I’m square with God and I make a living entertaining people I care about.
Can’t ask for a much better life than that.
Black, no doubt, will be missed by the countless lives that he has touched throughout his lifetime.