When Charles Sampson won the world rodeo bull riding championship in 1982, he became the first African American to win a World Title in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA).

The Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame inducted Charlie Sampson for bull riding  in 1996. He is also one of only two African-American cowboys to have been inducted in the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2008.

Unlike most rodeo cowboys, Sampson didn’t grow up on a ranch. He was born 1957 in the Watts section of South-Central Los Angeles. Standing only 5’4″ & weighing 134 lbs, Sampson was one of the smallest members of the PRCA.

Charlie Sampson has been a featured speaker at conferences, conventions & schools all across America.

His stories and life experiences connect, inspire & motivate.

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“I didn’t know I was gonna be a bull rider. Does it surprise you that I’m from Watts? I wasn’t big enough to play basketball, or fast enough for football. But I came to love this sport.  You can’t out muscle a bull. But deep down I knew I could conquer that animal once I got belief, a positive attitude, strength and the ability to react in split seconds.”

– Charlie Sampson

Wins & Awards

  • World Champion bull rider, 1982
  • Sierra Circuit bull riding champion, 1984
  • Turquoise Circuit bull riding champion, 1985–86 and 1993.
  • Copenhagen/Skoal bull riding champion, 1992
  • Calgary Stampede $50,000 bonus round bull riding champion
  • 2-time bull riding champion at Pendleton Round-Up
  • 2-time Grand National Rodeo (Cow Palace) champion
  • 2-time bull riding champion at California Rodeo (Salinas)
  • 2-time winner of Del Rio George Paul Memorial bull-riding buckle
  • Rodeo Superstars Championship
  • Named to Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, 1996
Charlie Sampson 1992 NFR Number 74 Flying U Rodeo

Charlie Sampson 1992 NFR Number 74 Flying U Rodeo

Charlie Sampson 1991 Short Round Denver Colorado Number 66 of Benny Butler with Brent Therman 1998 Saddle Bronc Rider Tommy Reves and 93 94 NFR Qualifier

Charlie Sampson 1991 Short Round Denver Colorado

Charlie Sampson 1984 Number 98 Flying U Cow Palace San Fransisco California

Charlie Sampson 1984 Number 98 Flying U Cow Palace San Francisco California

Charlie Sampson 1984 NFR Oklahoma City Sonny Linger Stock Contractor

Charlie Sampson 1984 NFR Oklahoma City Sonny Linger Stock Contractor

Charlie Sampson (1984 Champion Cow Palace in San Francisco California)

Charlie Sampson (1984 Champion Cow Palace in San Francisco California)

Charlie Sampson 1983 Number 12 Linger 6th GoRound

Charlie Sampson 1983 Number 12 Linger 6th GoRound

Charlie Sampson 1981 Flying U Rodeo in San Francisco California.

Charlie Sampson 1981 Flying U Rodeo in San Francisco California.

Charlie Sampson 1981 Short Go-Round San Fransisco Cow Palace Flying U 45 with Bobby DelVecchio

Charlie Sampson 1981 Short Go-Round San Francisco Cow Palace

“It doesn’t matter what size you are. You could be five-foot-four or six-foot-two. If you’ve got the desire, you’II find a way to get along.”

– Charlie Sampson

“If you take an interest in something, then pursue it. That is all you need to be concerned with.”

– Charlie Sampson

Recent Posts / View All Posts

Charlie Sampson 1991 Short Round Denver Colorado Number 66 of Benny Butler with Brent Therman 1998 Saddle Bronc Rider Tommy Reves and 93 94 NFR Qualifier

Charlie Sampson Career Challenges

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My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.”

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– Psalm 28:7