Robert Dale "Bob" Orton (July 21, 1929 – July 16, 2006) was an American professional wrestler. He was also known as Bob Orton, Sr. to distinguish him from his son, "Cowboy" Bob Orton, Jr. He was also the father of former wrestler Barry O, and the grandfather of WWE Superstar Randy Orton.


His previous nickname was "The Big O" when he wrestled for the Stampede Wrestling TV series.

Orton was a two-time holder of the Florida version of the NWA World Tag Team Championship with partner Eddie Graham in 1966. He also captured several other titles in various NWA territories, including the NWA Southern Heavyweight Championship and the Florida Tag Team title (with Bob Jr.) in Florida Championship Wrestling and the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship in Central States Wrestling. He also competed in the American Wrestling Association, where he would also gain championship success.

In 1961, Orton competed for Vince McMahon, Sr.'s World Wide Wrestling Federation, usually teaming with fellow wrestler Buddy Rogers staying there for some months before leaving for the NWA territories.

From late 1961 to late 1964, Orton competed for top NWA territories such Championship Wrestling from Florida.

By 1965, Orton joined Georgia Championship Wrestling, and was the Nº 1 contender for the GCW Southern Heavyweight Championship. He defeated the then-champion Tarzan Tyler by disqualification, meaning the title couldn't change hands.

In 1967, Orton competed for the American Wrestling Association and even challenged Verne Gagne for the AWA World Heavyweight Championship but was unsuccessful.

In early 1968, Orton won the AWA World Tag Team titles teaming with Maurice Vachon to defeat the then-champions Doug Gillbert and Reggie Parks.

In late 1968, Orton returned to the WWWF after a 7-year departure from the company. This time wrestling as "Cowboy" Rocky Fitzpatrick and usually teaming with Gorilla Monsoon.

Fitzpatrick was the number one contender for the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship, even challenging the champion Bruno Sammartino but was unsuccessful.

As the 1970s rolled on, Orton left the WWWF and returned to the NWA territories, mainly competing in the Florida area.

In 1972, Orton helped his son Bob Orton, Jr to get into the wrestling business and usually teamed up with him winning several matches and becoming one of the top tag team of the promotion.

Orton last match was on August 5, 1980 against Barry Windham. Orton was defeated.

Orton would depart from the wrestling business that same year, but he officially retired almost two decades later in 2000.

Personal life

Orton married Rita on January 22, 1950. Together they had three children, "Cowboy" Bob Orton, Barry Orton, and Rhonda Orton. Orton was also grandfather to current World Wrestling Entertainment superstar Randy Orton.

Orton and André the Giant were good friends for many years.


He retired in July 2000 and spent the last years of his life living in Las Vegas, Nevada.


He died on July 16, 2006 at the age of 76 after suffering from a series of heart attacks. Orton was cremated and had his ashes scattered on Mount Charleston in Las Vegas in April 2007.

Championships and accomplishments

  • NWA Southwest Heavyweight Championship (1 time)

External links

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