W.R. “Bob” Watt Jr.
W.R. “Bob” Watt was born in 1934 in Fort Worth, Texas. He attended public schools there as well as the Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in animal husbandry from Oklahoma State University.
Watt began working part time at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo in 1953 between college semesters. He started fulltime, first as an assistant to the Stock Show’s livestock show and horse show managers in 1963, then in other roles before being named general manager in 1978. Watt was also elected the organization’s president in 1978 and was elevated to president emeritus upon his retirement in 2010. He served on the Stock Show’s board of directors for 64 years.
Watt played a critical role in an exciting era of growth and improvements at the Stock Show and its iconic home – the Will Rogers Memorial Center – that was pivotal in Fort Worth’s emergence as the nation’s premier destination for livestock and equestrian competitions. During his tenure as president, the Stock Show grew from 10 to 23 days and crowds of more than one million attended annually, making the Show Fort Worth’s largest public event.
Watt’s modest and humble demeanor obscured the tremendous impact he had on not just the Stock Show, but also the growth of the Will Rogers Memorial Center and the advancement of Fort Worth’s proud reputation as this extraordinary place “where the West begins.”