Lee started cowboying at the age of 14 when he stayed by himself all summer at cow camp on the Kirby Creek east of Thermopolis taking care of a small herd of cows. Growing up he worked at various ranches, the Arapahoe Ranch near Thermopolis, Pitchfork Ranch near Meeteetse, and the Hobo Ranch outside of Cody. In 1964, Lee married Carole Schaff. They lived on the Mill Iron Ranch outside of Thermopolis for several years. They then moved to Cody to work on the Two Dot Ranch for Dick Curtis. This is where Lee started his judging career for the Cody Night Rodeo. Lee and Carole moved to Casper to work for Van Irvine at the Diamond Ring Ranch. He managed several ranches for the Irvins, buying and selling cattle, sheep and horses plus overseeing the selling of several large ranches. Most of Lee’s days were spent on horseback, passing his knowledge on to sons Reid and Griff. Lee’s life was also spent around rodeo where he started riding bareback horses, gradually focusing on riding bulls, winning several titles in the NRCA and WRA Associations.