You can spot a true Texan from a mile away. They just have that certain Lone Star something. Texans are tough, but they fight for the right things; they are rebellious, but ultimately selfless. They make sweet music: with a guitar and with a pistol. Yep, a Native Texan is a species all of its own.
But, what about those poor souls, actual and fictional, who are gifted with the Texas spirit and just happen to, unfortunately, be born outside of our Great State? Well, let’s just give them the title of Honorary Texans.
10. Amelia Earhart- July 24th, 1897; Atchison, KS
Amelia Earhart was the sort of lady who took risks, and that’s why we admire her more than any other woman in aviation. It doesn’t hurt that her husband was a killer publicist. But Amelia didn’t care for that. She was in it for the flying. We all know her name because she went missing in the South Pacific in an attempt to circumnavigate the globe, but we should remember her because she had a spirit to rival any Lone Star lady. She was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, wrote books about her journeys, and most importantly she exemplified the potential for human accomplishment. For taking to the sky and making it count, we give Amelia Earhart the title of Honorary Texan: Lady in the Sky.
9. Robin Hood- around 1420; near Nottingham, England
Robin Hood would have been right at home in Texas. They didn’t have guns back in his day, but if picking up a bow and a quiver full of arrows, gathering up a posse of rowdy rebels, and sticking it to the unjust lawman isn’t the Renaissance equivalent of an outlaw cowboy, then who knows what is. For acts of wit and valor in the fields and forests, and for fighting for the underdog, we bestow upon Robin Hood the rank of Honorary Texan: Legend.
8. Neil Armstrong- August 5th, 1930; Auglaize Co., Ohio
Texans often shoot for the stars, but it takes a real maverick to actually make it to the moon. That’s our boy Neil, the first NASA civilian in space, the first man to dock two spacecraft, and the first man on the moon! Neil Armstrong went to the moon using computers with less power than a cell phone, and with courage the size of the Rio Grande. We believe Neil’s dedication to country, as evidenced by his career as an astronaut and as an officer in the United States Navy, would have made him a dang fine Texan, and more than fit for the title of Honorary Texan: Moonwalker.
7. Johnny Cash- Feb 26, 1932; Kingsland, AR
Hello, he’s Johnny Cash! The Man in Black exemplifies so many Texas qualities, it’s hard to narrow them down. Let’s start with the fact that he’s larger-than-life. He’ll make the Top 10 list on anyone’s list worth reading when it comes to most influential country musicians. He’s also a hero with conflict, a fan of redemption (see: Folsom Prison Blues), and in the end a man of extreme spiritual strength. His legacy outlasts his life; it’s as immortal as the Alamo and as romantic as the sun setting on the Texas Hill Country. For priceless contributions to country music, and for that crooked smile, we give Johnny Cash the title of Honorary Texan: Ghost Rider in the Sky.
6. Han Solo- 29BBY; Corellia
This December, the movie theaters are going to welcome back one of the greatest rebels in all of film history–Han Solo. In the original Star Wars trilogy, Han Solo started off as a lonely outlaw–basically a wandering gunslinger. Over the course of his journey, he turned to Rebel General and romantic hero. Let’s cut to the chase: Han Solo is a cowboy; his horse the Millennium Falcon, his trusted right-hand man an eight-foot-tall fuzzball. He’s handy with a blaster, and his lover Princess Leia makes one heck-of-a Miss Kitty. For being the finest intergalactic rodeo cowboy this side of the outer-rim, we bestow upon Han Solo the title of Honorary Texan: Space Cowboy.
5. Charley Pride- March 18th, 1938; Sledge, Mississippi
Charley Pride wasn’t born in Texas, but he got here as soon as he could. He’s been living in Dallas for many years. He’s even part-owner of the Texas Rangers, and he works out with them in their spring training. But it’s not just his love of the Rangers that makes us love Charley Pride. No, we dig Charley because he’s such a renegade. He’s the most accomplished African American in country music history (there are only two others who have even been inducted into the Grand Ole Opry), and he’s a great example of breaking down barriers. In Texas, we’re all for living big and accomplishing dreams. That’s what drove people to Texas in the first place! Hey, Charlie, we are going to give you the title of Honorary Texan: Proud Texan.
4. Sirius Black- Around 1959; England
The Harry Potter franchise is full of persevering spirits, but only one stands out as inherently Texan–Sirius Black. He’s thrown in prison for over a decade for a crime he doesn’t commit, while fighting a bunch of evil wizards who might as well be pillaging bandits, and still manages to escape from Azkaban like a champ–and in style we might add–to fight the good fight.
When he draws his wand, it’s like he’s reaching for the Harry Potter Universe’s most badass six-shooter. Oh yeah, and did we mention he can transform into a freakin’ wolf, and his gang is called “The Maraudes”? We’ll stop early of spoilers, but for acts of superb wand-slinging, we bestow upon Sirius Black the title of Honorary Texan: Outlaw Wizard.
3. Clint Eastwood- May 31, 1930; San Francisco, CA
Clint Eastwood has represented Texan values through his film career of over 60 years. He’s played the lonely gunslinger (Pale Rider), the aged cowboy (Unforgiven), the beloved astronaut (Space Cowboys), the gritty detective (Dirty Harry), and about every other quintessential hero you can think of. Clint Eastwood is a man of immense talent and noteworthy conviction. He directs films that are full of heart and truly human characters. His ability to represent a stalwart, no-bull gentleman, make him about as Texan as you would want any guy to be. We’ll give Clint the title of Honorary Texan: Grand Visionary.
2. John Wayne- May 26th, 1907; Winterset, Iowa
To many people of planet Earth, John Wayne, The Duke, is the definitive example of a cowboy. In his roles, he has played the upstanding law man, the rebel out for revenge (True Grit), and even Davy Crockett (The Alamo). Just last month, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick declared John Wayne an official Honorary Texan for his contribution to film and the overall perception of what it means to be a Texan. We couldn’t agree more. We’ll give John Wayne the title of Honorary Texan: Lone Star Duke.
1. President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt- Octover 27th, 1858; Manhattan, NYC, New York
Teddy Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States of America, an avid historian, prolific author, patriotic soldier, energetic explorer, and a dedicated naturalist (see: the American Museum of Natural History). Many considered his personality to be distinctly “cowboy” in nature. He formed his own army, The Rough Riders to fight the Spanish, denounced Woodrow Wilson for taking so long to fight Germany, went on lengthy safaris in Africa, and essentially lived like he was an immortal for all of his life. Nothing could kill him–not the enemy and not rainforest diseases. He didn’t stop at President like most politicians, either. He kept working as a statesman and even police commissioner in New York. For unending bravery, and for grabbing life by the horns, we bestow upon Teddy the title of Honorary Texan: The Great Statesman.