Artist who created iconic San Antonio cowboy boots sculpture at North Star Mall dies

Wade died Monday at 76 years old

AUSTINBob “Daddy-O” Wade, the artist who created the iconic, giant cowboy boots at North Star Mall, died this week at the age of 76, according to media reports.

The artist died of heart failure Monday evening at his home in Austin.

According to Austin 360, Dan Bullock, an Austin civic engagement leader, posted on social media Tuesday about the loss of his friend.

"Just when we're grieving the loss of Bill Wittliff, I get the call that one of my best friends and a beloved multi-talented Texas character, Bob "Daddy-O" Wade passed (Monday) evening," Bullock said in the post. "I'd just been with him days before, and he complained of not feeling well, but thought it was a matter of tweaking medicine from his recent bypass surgery. He intended to consult his docs this week. The Executive Curator In The Sky wanted him sooner. Our loss, but he'll live on forever through his amazing creative legacy."

DAN BULLOCK...BOB "DADDY-O" WADE...HEAVEN'S NEW ARTIST IN RESIDENCE...(1943-2019) Just when we're grieving the loss of...

Posted by Dan Bullock on Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Wade’s famous boots claimed the record of world’s tallest cowboy boot sculpture in 2015, which appeared in the Guinness World Records 2016 book.

Shortly after the sculpture’s creation, a bidding war ensued between a company in Houston and The Rouse Company, then owner of North Star Mall, which purchased the landmark for $20,000.

On the way from Washington, D.C. to San Antonio, the boots got stuck under an overpass. From that point on, the truck drivers responsible for moving the boots took back roads all the way to Texas.

In typical Wade fashion, a song was born of the ordeal, entitled “Too High, Too Wide and Too Long,” and a documentary of the same name about Wade – directed by Keren Dinitz — was released in 1999.

Wade is known for several other giant creations, including a 40-foot-long iguana that now sits atop the Ft. Worth Zoo, dancing frogs that can be found on the roof of a Taco Cabana in Dallas and a 70-foot high saxophone in Houston, among others.

About the Authors:

Ivan Herrera has worked as a journalist in San Antonio since 2016. His work for KSAT 12 and includes covering breaking news of the day, as well as producing Q&As and content for the "South Texas Pride" and "KSAT Money" series.