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Baxter Black (born January 10, 1945) is an American cowboy, poet, philosopher and former large-animal veterinarian. He is also a radio and television commentator.

Baxter Black
Birth nameBaxter Black
Born (1945-01-02) January 2, 1945 (age 74)
OriginLas Cruces, New Mexico
GenresCowboy poetry
Occupation(s)American cowboy, poet, philosopher, radio commentator veterinarian
Years active1970's-present

Black grew up in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He was trained as a large-animal veterinarian at New Mexico State University and Colorado State University, but began writing and speaking in the early 1980s. Black left his veterinary career and later published more than a dozen books of fiction, poetry and commentary. He is a regular commentator for National Public Radio's Morning Edition and also hosts a syndicated weekly radio program, Baxter Black on Monday. He writes a syndicated weekly newspaper column, "On the Edge of Common Sense."

He currently resides in Benson, Arizona.



Black was born at the Brooklyn Naval Hospital in Brooklyn New York in January 1945. In high school, he became the Future Farmers of America (FFA) president, the senior class president, and lettered in wrestling one year. Beginning in high school, he began riding bulls in rodeos and continued riding throughout college. Black attended college at New Mexico State University and Colorado State University, and graduated in 1969. Before becoming a poet, he practiced medicine as a veterinarian. This career lasted from 1969 to 1982, and he specialized in large animals, such as cows and horses. Baxter worked for three different large companies, and two of the three changed ownership. During his last veterinarian job, Black gained popularity through public speaking. He continued his job as a veterinarian for two years, and during that time he spoke at over 250 programs. After this, his career as a poet was beginning. He continues to speak at Agricultural conferences and other social events across the country, write a column, speak on the radio, and has a short segment on RFD-TV.

He resides in Benson, Arizona, with his wife, Cindy Lou, and has no cell phone, television, or fax machine. One of his philosophies of life claims: "In spite of all the computerized, digitalized, high-tech innovations of today, there will always be a need for folks to be a cowboy, "Ya either are one, or ya aren't!"." [1]


Black's radio career began as a chance occurrence. During a news-worthy local event, he submitted some of his work to a radio station. Black specified in an interview, "It was the year Yellowstone caught on fire, 1988. We were listening and they didn't have any coverage to speak of, and it was a huge deal in our life. It was a huge deal in Colorado (where I lived) and the sky smelled like smoke and I had this big tumultuous poem about range fire... So I sent them this. I just sent it to "Public Radio" in Washington D.C. And two or three days later I get a call back."[2]

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