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Celebrated Arizona Auto Dealer Tex Earnhardt Dies At Age 89

Tex Earnhardt Archives

Tex Earnhardt, a colorful Arizona automobile dealer who got his first franchise at age 20 and eventually had 23 dealerships in metro Phoenix and the Las Vegas area, has died.  He was 89.

Earnhardt Auto Centers announced the death on the company’s website Sunday. The cause of death wasn’t immediately released.

Earnhardt moved from rural Texas to Chandler as a teenager where he worked at his family’s gas station. In 1951, he became the youngest person to receive a Ford franchise just shy of his 21st birthday.

Earnhardt was famous for his TV commercials that showed him in cowboy attire atop a steer as he talked about a great deal on his autos and then delivered his trademark slogan of “and that ain’t no bull.”