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Clem Rogers McSpadden
Nov 9, 1925 - Jul 7, 2008
Headstone Photo

Photo  Dennis Wilson

McSpadden was born on a ranch near the small town of Bushyhead in Rogers County, Oklahoma.  He grew up on a ranch owned by Will Rogers in nearby Oologah, where he attended public schools.

He served in the United States Navy during World War II (1944–1946). He attended the University of Redlands, North Texas Agricultural College, and the University of Texas before he received his bachelor of science degree in 1948 from Oklahoma State University–Stillwater, then known as Oklahoma A&M.

He was first elected to public office in November 1954 when he won a seat in the Oklahoma Senate. He served in that body until 1972, including leading it for two sessions as President pro tempore of the Oklahoma Senate.

He was elected to the Ninety-third Congress in November 1972, and served one term (January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1975), serving on the House Rules Committee. He chose to run for Governor of Oklahoma in 1974 rather than seek reelection for a second congressional term. His gubernatorial candidacy was unsuccessful, as David L. Boren, later a United States senator and the president of the University of Oklahoma, received the Democratic nomination instead.

McSpadden was involved in rodeos throughout North America as a broadcaster, including the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Calgary Stampede, and the Canadian Finals Rodeo. In 1974, he hired a then unknown Reba McEntire to sing the National Anthem at the National Rodeo Finals. He was quoted by the Tulsa World as observing "an amazing correlation" between the politics and the rodeo profession, "in that there's bull in each profession."

He is also known, especially through the rodeo community, for his authorship of "A Cowboy's Prayer."

After being diagnosed with cancer, McSpadden died at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston on July 7, 2008.

A portion of Oklahoma State Highway 66 between Claremore and Bushyhead was designated Clem McSpadden Highway in 1985.

The post office in Chelsea, Oklahoma, where he made his home, was renamed the "Clem Rogers McSpadden Post Office Building" in his honor in January 2008.


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