Billy Joe Booth

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Billy Joe Booth​

(American defensive end in the Canadian Football League)

Billy Joe Booth.jpg

Born April 7, 1940​
Minden, Louisiana, USA
Died June 30, 1972 (aged 32) ​
Dorchester, Ontario, Canada

Resting place:
Westlawn Memorial Park in Gretna in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana

Spouse Janice Schouest Booth​

Mike Booth
Coy Ulysses Booth (deceased)​
Alma mater:
Minden (Louisiana) High School
Louisiana State University

Religion Missionary Baptist

Billy Joe Booth (April 7, 1940 – June 30, 1972) played professional football with the Ottawa Rough Riders in the Canadian Football League from 1962 to 1970. He graduated from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After his football career, Booth was an electrical contractor. Booth was killed in 1972 in an airplane crash in the province of Ontario, Canada.


Booth was born and reared in the small city of Minden in Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana. His parents were Coy Dexter Booth (1915-2004) and the former Fern Nation (1915-2001). He graduated in 1958 from Minden High School, where one of his football coaches was his maternal uncle, Patrick Cary Nation (1918-2005), and then in 1962 from LSU, at which he received a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education.[1]

At Minden High School, Booth played football from 1954 to 1957. Booth won "All-State" and the "Outstanding Blocker" honors in 1956. He also played baseball in 1956 and ran Track and field from 1955 to 1958. He was All-State in track in 1957. He was a member of the MHS Student Council in his senior year.[2] At LSU, he played in the 1962 Senior Bowl.[3]​ ​ Booth married the former Janice Schouest, whom he met at LSU, and was the father of two sons, Mike Booth (born c. 1963) and Coy Ulysses Booth (c. 1965-2002: automobile accident victim).

Booth was a defensive end for the Ottawa Rough Riders from 1962 to 1970. At six feet tall and 240 pounds, many had considered him too small to be a defensive end. Booth won Grey Cup championships in1968 and 1969. The team also lost the 54th Grey Cup game in 1966. In 1969, Booth was named CFL all-star and was also won CFL's Most Outstanding Lineman Award in the eastern division of the CFL that year, but lost to defensive tackle John LaGrone of the Edmonton Eskimos.

Booth and his friend, James W. Magee, Jr. (1938–1972), were killed in an airplane crash in Ontario. The two were in Canada on a fishing trip when their four-seat Piper Cherokee Arrow crashed during a thunderstorm. Witnesses said that the plane blew up and fell to the ground, with wreckage spread over an area of some one and one-half miles. The plane was en route from Windsor to London, Ontario but crashed some ten miles before reaching its destination.[4]

Booth is interred at Westlawn Memorial Park in Gretna in Jefferson Parish in suburban New Orleans.[3] On August 20, 1972, the Billy Joe Booth Memorial Press was dedicated in his honor by the American Baptist Association clergyman L. L. Clover at Central Missionary Baptist Church in Shreveport.


  1. Booth obituary, The Shreveport Times, July 2, 1972.
  2. Minden High School Grig yearbook, 1958.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Billy Joe Booth. Retrieved on December 16, 2019.
  4. "Billy Joe Booth crash victim: With Riders nine years, The Ottawa Citizen, July 3, 1972; "Billy Joe Booth killed as small plane crashes, The Toronto Globe and Mail, July 1, 1972.