Rodeo cowboy. Whatley entered his first rodeo when he was 17 and won bull riding titles in Houston and Cheyenne, two of the nation's top rodeos, in 1945. Whatley won the first Rodeo Cowboy Association - later called the PRCA - world all around title in 1947. He was World Champion All Around Cowboy and World Champion Steer Wrestler in 1947 and World Champion Bull Rider in 1953. He was the bull riding director on the PRCA's Board of Directors from 1952-55 and the steer wrestling director from 1956-57. He was inducted into the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1955. In June 1966 he participated in a rodeo in Hugo, Oklahoma and went to a dance after the event. Whatley was apparently sitting in his car with Opal Kizer when her inebriated husband tried to open the car but had it locked against him. Ed Kizer went to his own car, got his gun, and returned to Whatley's car. Kizer again tried to get in the car but could not, so started shooting into the vehicle. Whatley was killed and Mrs Kizer wounded. She later stated that the shooting was the third time her husband had tried to kill her. Edward R. Kizer was convicted of first degree manslaughter and was sentenced to serve five years in the state penitentiary for Whatley's death. (bio by: Iola)
Cause of death: shot to death
Burial: Mount Olivet Cemetery Hugo Choctaw County Oklahoma, USA Plot: Located in front section of cemetery about 60 feet south of main road.
Maintained by: Find A Grave Record added: Dec 14, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 18807