Earl Acton was born in Alpine, Texas on October 6, 1939, to Ernest and Preble Steadman Acton of Reeves County. He was born into a ranching and rodeo family. Earl’s dad was a member of the Cowboy’s Turtle Association, the forerunner of the RCA. Ernest also traveled some with the 101 Wild West Show, so rodeo was definitely in Earl’s blood. As soon as Earl walked, he carried a rope and dreamed of team roping with his dad.
Acton graduated from Toyah, Texas High School and Sul Ross College. He soon started roping professionally and won the team roping at the West of the Pecos Rodeo in 1971 and competed at Pecos until 1991. Earl held PRCA Gold Card #12202 in the PRCA and was inducted into the Texas Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2016.