ProRodeo Hall of Fame bullfighter George Doak passes awaySara Tadken
Bullfighter George Doak, who was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colo., in 2000, passed away April 27. He was 83.
Doak’s funeral will be at 2 p.m. (CT), May 18, at the Lone Star Cowboy Church, 21627 Eva St., Montgomery, Texas, 77356.
Doak and fellow bullfighter Junior Meek were inducted into the Hall of Fame together.
Doak and Meek were destined to be together. Both started their bullfighting careers as a means of trading entry fees for the bull riding, although Doak also entered bareback riding.
Doak, born May 18, 1937, in Fort Worth, Texas, started his professional career in 1957 in Cowtown, N.J. One of the first televised rodeos, Cowtown also hosted what may have been the first clown training camp at a bull riding school.
Doak twice fought bulls at the National Finals Rodeo (1971, 1977) and for many years worked the National High School Finals Rodeo and College National Finals Rodeo. He was a bullfighter until 1981, retiring after working the Pendleton (Ore.) Round-Up that year.
“It’s going to be great because we are inducted together,” Doak told ProRodeo Sports News in 2000 before he and Meek were inducted. “From the time I was a kid, I wanted to be a bullfighter. Being voted into the Hall of Fame just makes the circle of my career.”
Doak and Meek, born April 4, 1936, in Cleburne, Texas, joined forces in 1963 to book rodeos as a team. That marked the first time two bullfighters worked as partners.
The list of rodeos they worked, together and separately, reads like a “Who’s Who” in the rodeo world: Fort Worth, Texas, Pendleton, Ore., Kissimmee, Fla., Phoenix, San Francisco, Cheyenne, Wyo., and Denver.
Doak was inducted into the Pendleton Hall of Fame in 1983 after working the rodeo for 19 years. Doak also helped initiate the Wrangler bullfighting program in 1979 and judged the first Wrangler bullfighting world championship in Oklahoma City.
Although Doak and Meek developed funny props, clown acts and entertainment, they are remembered for their ability to protect the cowboys while making the event look like an easy day at the office.
“It was play to me,” Doak told PSN. “That’s what made it so much fun. I was lucky enough to get paid to do something I really liked and make a lot of people enjoy the sport. It was like being on a 30-year vacation.”
Doak also appeared in the Academy Award-winning documentary, “The Great American Cowboy” in 1974.
Doak was preceded in death by son, Steven Lyle Doak.
Doak is survived by wife, Reada Kay Doak; sons George (Laquitta) Doak Jr. and Michael (Laura) Doak; stepson, Derron (Amy) Vincik; stepdaughter, Lenece (Raymond) Smith; grandchildren Colby Doak, Cassie Hamlin, Samantha Doak, Amberly Andress, Nicolas Doak, Jordan Johnson, Katelyn Macalla, Kelsey Vincik, Kingsley Vincik, Skye Smith and Steele Smith; great-grandchildren Jett and Jake Doak, Chase Hamlin, Ballie Sessom, Gage and Brielynn Andress, and Royer and Amberi Doak.
Memorials for Doak can be sent to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund, 101 ProRodeo Dr., Colorado Springs, Colo., 80919 and/or the Rodeo Cowboy Alumni, Scholarship Fund, 6064 Appleton Rd., SW, Albuquerque, N.M., 87105.