One of the world's most famous boot makers passed away recently. Houstonian Rocky Carroll died Wednesday at age 79. He operated RJ's Boot Company in Houston. That store opened under his father's guidance in 1938.
In true dedicated Texan fashion, Carroll passed away while at work. One employee reportedly saw Carroll drifting off, and at 2:30 his son Michael called an ambulance. But by the time it arrived, Carroll had passed.
After his illustrious career, Carroll earned the nickname "BOTUS." The acronym is a play on POTUS, which stands for President Of The United States. As you can probably guess, the "B" stands for "bootmaker."
Carroll fashioned boots for multiple presidents, including Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. One can assume he also had a pair for Donald Trump on the way.
But plenty of people outside the White House wore Carroll's famous boots, too. Those include other world figures like Vladimir Putin and Princess Diana. And then, of course, celebrities like Willie Nelson, Peyton Manning and Johnny Cash. Honestly, the list of his clientele is exhaustive.
One of his most famous pairs also included $40,000 worth of diamonds made for Elizabeth Taylor. The boots are all-American leather and can take months to make.
Michael Carroll says beyond his boots, his father earned a reputation for his friendly demeanor. "Everywhere he went he always ran into people he knew," Carroll says. "And if he didn't (know you), but the time they were done, they were best friends."
"He never met a stranger, and always wanted to help in every charity he could," Michael Carroll continues. "He was a loving caring man who loved giving back and helping the less fortunate. It wasn't about all the hobnobbing with all the presidents and all because he remembered when he was a child that he wanted to give back."