A Cattle Baron is the {{Rancher}} writ large. Instead of owning one regular-sized ranch, the Cattle Baron will own several ranches, possibly in more than one state, or a county-sized one with many thousand head of cattle. He (or very rarely she) will be one of the wealthiest people in the territory or state, and one of the biggest employers.

A Cattle Baron is generally at least middle-aged--it takes a while to accumulate that much capital. Some will be homegrown types who struggled their way up from single ranches, while others are foreigners (English and German are popular nationalities for this) who simply bought up land. Their clothing, tack and homes will tend to be rather ostentatious, but somewhat practical for range life.

Cattle Barons in fiction will usually have either grown or nearly grown children, a beautiful daughter and/or either a rebellious or dutiful son. Conflicts between the children, and with their parents, are frequent.

In TheWestern, a Cattle Baron will often be the BigBad of the story, (AristocratsAreEvil, even if the "Baron" bit is metaphorical with [[FeudalOverlord "Robber Baron"]]) with the desire to buy out or crush independent ranchers and homesteaders to add to his wealth and power. However, they can also be a benign employer for a protagonist if their holdings are plagued by [[TheRustler rustlers]]. Expect them to be rather [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney autocratic]] in any case.

Often a CorruptHick, and perhaps a FatSweatySouthernerInAWhiteSuit. Compare the RailroadBaron.


[[folder: Comicbooks ]]

* One ''ComicBook/LuckyLuke'' comic book (''Barbed Wire On the Prairie'' - 1967) had one of these as a BigBad, trying to crush an independent farmer. However, he is [[HeelFaceTurn redeemed by the end]], with both him and his fellow cattle barons being shown that both cattle and farming will be an important part of the future.


[[folder: Film ]]

* Creator/PatrickStewart's character in ''Film/TheKingOfTexas'', a Western version of ''Theatre/KingLear''.
* Spencer Tracy's character in ''Film/BrokenLance'', also a western version of ''King Lear''.
* Creator/JohnWayne's characters in ''Film/RedRiver'' and ''Film/{{Chisum}}''.
* Creator/AlanRickman's character in ''Film/QuigleyDownUnder'' is an Australian take on the type.
* A variation on this is John Huston's character in ''Film/{{Chinatown}}'', a Land Baron.
* John Chisum was an actual Cattle Baron during the 1870s/1880s. He was portrayed by Creator/JohnWayne in ''Film/{{Chisum}}'' and Creator/JamesCoburn in ''Film/YoungGunsII''.
* Parodied by Andy Griffith in the film ''Film/RustlersRhapsody''; the narrator notes how you never actually see any of his cattle, just hear them mooing occasionally in the background.
* J.W. Grant (Ralph Bellamy) in ''Film/TheProfessionals''. He thinks his money can buy him anything.
* 'King' Carney and Neil Fletcher in Baz Luhrmann's ''Film/{{Australia}}''. Sarah Ashley's late husband Maitland is a cattle baron of the foreign-born variety.
* The eponymous character of ''Film/McLintock'' is the BenevolentBoss variant. He started out as a rancher and worked long and hard so his wife and daughter would prosper. He uses his considerable influence to resist the machinations of an ObstructiveBureaucrat and stand up for the local Comanche.
* In ''Film/FortyGuns'', Jessica Drummond is the most powerful rancher in Arizona territory, and controls much of the territory's government.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* The protagonist's dead sister's husband, James, in ''Sisters'' by Lynn Cheney (yes, ''that'' Lynn Cheney). He's of the foreign variety, definitely autocratic, and really hates homesteaders (though none of this is necessarily seen as a bad thing, and he's certainly not the antagonist).
* Charles Goodnight, a RealLife CattleBaron, appears as a heroic character in several of Creator/JTEdson's novels.
** Goodnight also makes a brief but important appearance near the end of Larry [=McMurtry=]'s ''Streets of Laredo''


[[folder: Live-Action Television ]]

* ''Doña Bárbara'' is the Latin American (in fact, Venezuelan) take on this trope, and a female one, to boot.
** In fact, whenever wealthy people from "El Llano" (the Venezuelan flatlands) appear in ''[[SoapOpera Telenovelas]]'' they tend not only to represent this trope, but reference ''Doña Bárbara'' in a way or another.
* Another novela example is the Brazilian soap ''O Rei do Gado'' (literally, the King of the Cattle).
* A rare benign protagonist example would be Ben Cartwright from ''{{Series/Bonanza}}''.
* Pete Thornton appears as one in the two ''Series/MacGyver1985'' [[CowboyEpisode dream episodes]] set in the WildWest: "Serenity" and "[=MacGyver=]'s Women".
* ''Series/FrontierCircus'': One attempts to drive a peaceful religious settlement off their land in "The Good Fight". After he gets cold feet, his foreman murders him and uses his widow to keep the scheme going.


[[folder: Music ]]

* "Class of '57" by Music/TheStatlerBrothers: One of the classmates, John (in the final verse) is one of these ("''John is big in cattle''" ).


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Heck Gunderson of ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', though to be technical he's actually a Brahmin Baron (Brahmin being two-headed mutated cows of post-apocalyptic America). Unsurprisingly, he's also earned his power via cutthroat tactics and forcing other ranchers off their land at gunpoint. One sidequest deals with one of the ranchers whose land he stole who wants revenge.
** The NCR having a fair number of these is actually a minor plot point in Fallout 2: in the plot-apocalyptic wastes of western America, ''food'' is one of the most important things to have. The NCR's economic strength is built on the back of its dominance of the brahmin market, so the brahmin barons are one of the more important groups in the NCR. The mostly sympathetic senator Roger Westin is one of them.
** Their disproportionate power in the NCR is brought up again in ''New Vegas'', as they're able to get away with trying to provoke a mostly peaceful village of supermutants to attack first because they suspect they've been killing their Brahmin.


[[folder: Web Original ]]

* In the Literature/WhateleyUniverse, superpowered mutant Fantastico comes from a family of Texas cattle barons.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* [[HisNameReallyIsBarkeep Rich Texan]] from ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''. He's also an Oil Baron.
* The Wongs, Amy's parents on ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', are examples of this RecycledInSpace. They only own ONE hemisphere of the planet Mars, but it's "the good hemisphere".
* [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Mr. Rancid]] from Bovo Corporation and "Jacob Laramie" in ''[[WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfTheGalaxyRangers Galaxy Rangers]]''.