Cloyce Box, 6'4" and Bulletproof

Cloyce Box, 6'4" and Bulletproof

Cloyce Box, 6'4" and Bulletproof

Cloyce Box, 6'4" and Bulletproof


Cloyce Box was an American original. He was handsome, athletic, intelligent, and ambitious, and his life was the stuff of which dreams and miniseries are made. Starting out as a dirt-poor farm boy from the Texas backcountry, he used his great talents to become a star in the National Football League, a corporate CEO, and a very wealthy man. He was fearless, flamboyant, and controversial. His story is an epic Texas tale of football, cattle, horses, oil, money, power, incredible success, and spectacular failure. The ranch he owned near Frisco, Texas, became famous as the fictional Southfork Ranch on the hit television show Dallas. Financial over-reaching eventually cost him his fortune, just before his death in 1993.

With access to Cloyce Box's personal files and photographs as well as the assistance of his subject's family and friends, Michael Barr has crafted a biography that is at once clear-eyed and sensitive, allowing the complex character of Cloyce Box to engage and challenge the reader.


As the ring of lights above Soldier Field bore down on the playing surface with a radiance that outshone the Chicago skyline, Frank Gifford, high in the booth with Al Michaels and Dan Dierdorf, announced to a nationwide audience watching Monday Night Football that Cloyce Box had died. the news was meaningless to most viewers who had just settled in to watch the Vikings and the Bears square off on week eight of the 1993 season. the average football fan could hardly be expected to remember a man who hadn’t taken the field in almost forty years. But, to an elite group of former athletes, celebrities, politicians, business executives, and Wall Street heavyweights, the news was heard and noted.

Three days later a who’s who of sports, entertainment, and business attended a memorial service for Box at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas. Cloyce and his first wife Fern were long-time members of that congregation at 9200 Inwood Road. in happier times, Fern, the daughter of a Methodist minister, played the piano there and sang in the choir.

At the service, Hall of Fame running back Doak Walker sat near the front of the church, just behind the family. Carol Layne, Bobby Layne’s widow, sat nearby with a royal delegation of Box’s teammates from the old Detroit Lions glory days including Yale Lary, Harley Sewell, Jim David, Thurman McGraw, Jim Neal, and Leon Hart. Writer, journalist, and Kennedy assassination expert Hugh Aynesworth came to the service to pay respects to his old friend and former boss.

Honorary pallbearers included Frank Gifford, former Kentucky governor and former ceo of Kentucky Fried Chicken John Y. Brown Jr., former ceo of Mercantile National Bank Dallas Gene Bishop, and chairman of the board and ceo of Lincoln Properties Mack Pogue. Sitting next to Governor Brown was his wife, former Miss America and tv personality Phyllis George.

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