From the early years when his dad took young Ed to the Sam Houston Coliseum where he met stars like Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Ed McMahon’s life has been intertwined with the international growth and prominence of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Following graduation from Lamar High School, Ed attended Louisiana State University, graduating in 1967 with a degree in agricultural engineering. His formal association with the rodeo began that same year when he became a Lifetime Member and has continued for over 50 years. He also was a member of the first World Championship Barbecue Contest in 1974. He co-founded the Corporate Development Committee, where he served as chairman and received the Top Sales Award for nine consecutive years.
Ed was elected to the rodeo’s Board of Directors in 1977 and as a vice president in 1986. He was appointed to the HLS&R Executive Committee in 2010. His singular passion for western art and the American West resulted in McMahon becoming a director of the Western Art Museum in Kerrville and an associate of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
In his business life, as owner of Ed McMahon Interests, he developed many of Houston’s finest residential and commercial properties, including equine centers. In addition to the HLS&R he is also well known for his charity work with Citizens for Animal Protection, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor Research Advocates for Student Scientists (BRASS), just to name a few. Ed continues a tradition of giving back after witnessing firsthand his father, who founded the Don McMahon Research Foundation. His Dad started Diamond M Drilling in 1965 and his mother was one of two women in her graduating class of South Texas College of Law who passed the bar in 1936.
Among the many prestigious honors accorded Ed are “Board Member of the Decade” for his service as President of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation and co-founding the CCFA Women of Distinction Gala with Norma Myers. He is also a founding member of Men of Distinction, a non-profit supporting biomedical research.