Joaquin Jackson died on Wednesday (June 15) at age 80 at his home in Alpine. His career as a Texas Ranger was legendary. His exploits were recounted in the 2005 book, One Ranger.
He appeared on Marfa Public Radio in 2008 on the program Voices of the Big Bend, describing his career in law enforcement. He began as a Texas State Trooper and advanced to the elite levels of the Texas Rangers, where he worked for 27 years, before his retirement in 2003.
Jackson quelled riots in Zavala County, ran into a shootout in Carrizo Springs, tracked a horse thief for a week, and participated in more than a few skirmishes along the Texas-Mexico border.
He served in the Marine Corps, attended classes as Texas Tech and Sul Ross, and was on the board of the National Rifle Association. He was featured on a well-remembered cover photo for Texas Monthly in 1994. In film he appeared as both an actor and as a model for other characters, such as for the Nick Nolte role in Extreme Prejudice.
His memoir, One Ranger, written with David Marion Wilkinson, was one of the fastest-selling books for the University of Texas Press. It was followed by One Ranger Returns, in 2008.