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OBITUARIES | Passings | Austin C. 'Slim' Green

Made saddles for politicians, stars

December 28, 2007|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Austin C. "Slim" Green, 91, a saddle maker who created hand-tooled works of art, died Saturday in Las Cruces, N.M., his family said. The cause of death is unknown.

Green's saddles have been featured at the Smithsonian Institution, the Autry National Center's Museum of the American West and the Professional Ropers and Cowboys Assn. Museum.

He created leather work for President Franklin D. Roosevelt, actors John Wayne and Robert Redford, and many other politicians, actors and rodeo stars.

His entire shop and tool collection is on exhibit at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces.

Born in Ravi, Okla., on June 10, 1916, Green moved with his family by covered wagon to Texas, where he became a boy rodeo rider and roper. He apprenticed himself to Pop Bettes, a noted saddle maker, and made his first saddle in 1936.

Green continued to make saddles while serving with the Army during World War II. After the war, he moved to Santa Fe, N.M., co-founded Rodeo! de Santa Fe and taught the next generation of saddle makers through a state art apprenticeship program.

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