Col. Ray Sims died yesterday at St. Joseph Medical Center, Kansas City, Mo. He was 90. Mr. Sims had an auction career for over 45 years that shaped the modern cattle auction. Sims is largely credited for moving the cattle auction from a slow moving painstaking process to the fast paced lively marketing event that it is today. Frequently recognized as the most imitated auctioneer in history, Sims is said to have presided over more than 7000 sales throughout the course of his career.
He worked his way into becoming the most outstanding auctioneer in the purebred industry in the 1950s and 1960s. He sold the Kansas City Stocker/Feeder Auction for 15 years and conducted sales for three U.S. Presidents; Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy.
Mr. Sims was awarded the Saddle and Sirloin Clubs Portrait award in 2010, becoming the first auctioneer to do so in 55 years. He also became a member of the National Auctioneers Association hall of fame in 1990 and a member of the Angus Heritage Foundation in 1989.
His career was the motivation behind the song “The Auctioneer” by Leroy Van Dyke, Sim’s second cousin. The song sold over 2.5 million copies and reached number 9 on the country charts.
Watch Col. Ray Sims final interview with Doak Lambert here: