Bull Rider, Champion, 1943-1945
Born in Kansas in 1918, Ken Roberts came from a rodeo family. “The Riding Roberts” also included brother Gerald, an all-around champion cowboy, and sister Marjorie, a saddle-bronc rider and trick rider.
Ken Roberts entered rodeo at Cassidy, Kansas, in 1932. Adept at riding “spinning” bulls, he claimed the bull-riding trophy three times at Chicago and five times at Boston and captured the RAA championship in 1943, 1944, and 1945. Also an outstanding bronc rider, in 1945 Ken Roberts finished second in that event behind Bill Linderman.
From 1947 to 1961 Ken Roberts produced rodeos with his father, Emmett. Their string included the infamous bronc Jesse James, selected Bucking Horse of the Year in 1961. Ken Roberts last competed in 1966 at Denver, winning on a rank bull called High Tower, which had not been successfully ridden in two years. One of rodeo’s outstanding athletes, Ken Roberts died in 1975.