Bob Orton
Orton in 1954
Birth nameRobert Keith Orton
Born(1929-07-21)July 21, 1929
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
DiedJuly 16, 2006(2006-07-16) (aged 76)
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Rita Orton
(m. 1950)
Children3; including Bob Jr. and Barry
RelativesRandy Orton (grandson)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Bob Orton
Bob Orton Sr.
El Lobo
Rocky Fitzpatrick
The Zodiak
Billed height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Billed weight245 lb (111 kg)
Billed fromKansas City, Missouri
RetiredJuly 2000

Robert Keith Orton Sr. (July 21, 1929 – July 16, 2006) was an American professional wrestler. The patriarch of the Orton wrestling family, his two sons Bob Orton Jr. and Barry Orton, and grandson Randy Orton, have all wrestled professionally. To distinguish between him and his son, he is also known as Bob Orton Sr. Bob Orton Sr. was often referred to by his nickname "The Big O".

Professional wrestling career

Orton in 1952

Orton was a two-time holder of the Florida version of the NWA World Tag Team Championship with tag team partner Eddie Graham in 1966.[1] He also innovated the pedigree as he captured several other titles in various National Wrestling Alliance's (NWA) territories with it, including the Florida and Georgia versions of the NWA Southern Heavyweight Championship, as well as the NWA Florida Tag Team Championship (with Bob Orton Jr.) in Florida Championship Wrestling and the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship in Central States Wrestling.[1] He also competed in the American Wrestling Association (AWA), where he would also gain championship success.[1] In 1961, Orton competed for the then NWA Capitol Wrestling Federation (now WWE) teaming with "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers.

Orton eventually left Capitol Wrestling Corporation, by competing in other NWA territories. In 1968, Orton returned to Capitol Wrestling Corporation renamed as World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF), often using the ring name Rocky Fitzpatrick. In September 1968, as "Cowboy" Rocky Fitzpatrick, he was number one challenger to WWWF World Heavyweight Champion Bruno Sammartino, losing to Sammartino at Madison Square Garden. He fought Sammartino in other northeastern cities as well. In the summer of 1969, Orton wrestled in the Ohio Sports Classics Promotion. He retired in July 2000 and spent the last years of his life living in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Personal life

Orton married his wife Rita on January 22, 1950. Together they had three children: Bob Jr., Barry, and Rhonda. Bob Jr.'s son, Randy Orton, is also a professional wrestler.

Orton and André the Giant were good friends for many years.[2]


Orton died in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 16, 2006, at the age of 76, five days short of his 77th birthday, following multiple heart attacks.[2] His grandson stated "He had a heart attack at home, and they took him to the hospital where he had another more severe heart attack, he had an eight hour surgery that gave him a 20 percent chance to survive; he did, but about 10 hours after the surgery he passed away."[3] He was cremated and had his ashes scattered on Mount Charleston, Nevada in April 2007.

Championships and accomplishments


  1. ^ a b c Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  2. ^ a b Brady, Hicks. "2006: The year in wrestling". PWI Presents: 2007 Wrestling Almanak and book of facts. Kappa Publications. p. 23. 2007 Edition.
  3. ^ "Bob Orton, Sr. passes away". WWE. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  4. ^ "Honorees". Cauliflower Alley Club. Archived from the original on July 6, 2022. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
  5. ^ Royal Duncan and Gary Will (2006). "(Kansas and Western Missouri) West Missouri: North American Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. p. 253. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  6. ^ "NWA North American Tag Team Title (Central States version)". Retrieved March 24, 2015.