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An icon succumbs. A staple photo opp for State Fair visitors from around the world, Big Tex was featured in a 2004 episode of "King of the Hill."

Before Big Tex became Big Tex, he was a giant Santa Claus in Kerens, Texas, east of Corsicana. This photo was taken in 1949. Two years later, the giant figure was purchased for 750 dollars by Dallas banker R.L. Thornton, then president of the State Fair of Texas and later mayor of Dallas. Big Tex made his debut at the State Fair in 1952. (The Dallas Morning News)