The Rodeo Historical Society presented its first Ben Johnson Award at its annual banquet in October 1998 during the unveiling of a bronze sculpture of Ben Johnson Jr. (1918-1996) mounted on his favorite horse, created by Mehl Lawson. The bronze is permanently located in the Museum’s American Rodeo Gallery. The annual award is presented to a living person who has been involved in the rodeo industry for a number of years and has contributed to the growth and betterment of pro-rodeo. Involvement with youth and/or community activities also is a pre-requisite for the honor. And the recipient must be someone who, like Ben Johnson Jr., creates a positive image for rodeo and the Western lifestyle.