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Charlie Dunn; Boot Maker to the Stars

September 25, 1993

Charlie Dunn, 95, a boot maker whose creations costing up to $3,000 made him a status symbol among the elite of the entertainment world. A small, slender man who wore a beret while he worked, Dunn rose to fame as a boot maker when Texas' energetic music scene caught the nation's attention in the 1970s. Jerry Jeff Walker wrote and recorded a song, "Charlie Dunn," and still performs it 20 years later. Celebrities such as Arnold Palmer, Mary Kay Place, Gene Autry, Slim Pickens, Harry Belafonte, Ernest Tubb, Peter Fonda and Carole King came to his shop in Austin for a fitting. Dunn was born aboard a houseboat on Arkansas' White River, and the family later moved to Paris, Tex., in a covered wagon. His father, grandfather and great-grandfather were boot makers. Dunn made his first pair of boots at age 7. He made traditional boots from leather and exotic skins, such as ostrich, and was known for his leather inlaid roses. In Smithville, Tex., on Thursday.

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