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Will Rogers Quotations

Will Rogers, from a photo
Will Rogers

Oklahoma-born Will Rogers (1879-1935) was an American icon who at his prime was the most popular radio personality of his time, maybe the most popular person in America. He used to quip that "My ancestors didn't come over on the Mayflower, they were here to greet the boat!"

After attending for a time the Kemper Military School in Boonville, Missouri, Will entered show business, excelled as a rodeo rider, and made his first motion picture in 1918. He starred in many others later, travelled extensively, and gave numerous after-dinner speeches. In the early 1930s Rogers gave radio talks on unemployment with the former president Calvin Coolidge and President Herbert Hoover. In time he was loved and admired by very many American for radio broadcasts, columns, and numerous jibes at the issues of the day and prominent people. He was considered by some to be the successor to Mark Twain and other "witty heads". His forte was political observation; and his wit was often caustic.

He passed away with a friend in an airplane crash near Point Barrow, Alaska, in August, 1935. His home, stables, and polo fields in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, have been preserved for public enjoyment.


LoDecide that things are changing, and that "things ain't what they used to be and never were" -

Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there. [Will Rogers]

America is a nation that conceives many odd inventions for getting somewhere but it can think of nothing to do once it gets there. [Will Rogers]

Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke. [Will Rogers]

An ignorant person is one who doesn't know what you have just found out. [Will Rogers]

It's easy being a humorist when you've got the whole government working for you. [Will Rogers]

I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. [Will Rogers, Saturday Review, Aug. 25, 1962]

Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier 'n puttin' it back in. [Will Rogers]

Income tax has made liars out of more Americans than golf. [Will Rogers]

Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don't have for something they don't need. [Will Rogers]

Make crime pay. Become a Lawyer. [Will Rogers]

Things ain't what they used to be and never were. [Will Rogers]

You know everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. [Will Rogers, New York Times Aug. 1924]

The schools ain't what they used to be and never was. [Will Rogers]

We could never understand why Mexico wasn't just crazy about us; for we have always had their good will, and oil and minerals, at heart. [Will Rogers]

On prohibiting anybody from learning anything: Why, in five years we would have the smartest race of people on earth. [Will Rogers]

A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries. [Will Rogers]

I don't care how poor and inefficient a little country is; they like to run their own business. I know men that would make my wife a better husband than I am; but, darn it, I'm not going to give her to 'em. [Will Rogers]

I never expected to see the day when girls would get sunburned in the places they do now. [Will Rogers]

I'm not a real movie star. I've still got the same wife I started out with twenty-eight years ago. [Will Rogers]

It's great to be great, but it's greater to be human [Will Rogers]

In a real estate man's eye, the most expensive part of the city is where he has a house to sell. [Will Rogers]

It's not what you pay a man, but what he costs you that counts. [Will Rogers]

People's minds are changed through observation and not through argument. [Will Rogers]

There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. [Will Rogers]

We are all here for a spell, get all the good laughs you can. [Will Rogers]

Everything is funny as long as it is happening to Somebody Else. [Will Rogers, Illiterate Digest (1924)]

If you want to be successful, love what you are doing. [Will Rogers, abr.] ◊

On account of us being a democracy and run by the people, we are the only nation in the world that has to keep a government four years, no matter what it does. [Will Rogers]

Rumor travels faster, but it don't stay put as long as truth. [Will Rogers]

There is only one thing that can kill the Movies, and that is education. [Will Rogers, Autobiography (1949) chapter 6]

Let advertisers spend the same amount of money improving their product that they do on advertising and they wouldn't have to advertise it. [Will Rogers]

There isn't any finer folks living than a Republican that votes the Democratic ticket. [Will Rogers]

If advertisers spent the same amount of money on improving their products as they do on advertising then they wouldn't have to advertise them. [Will Rogers]

Things will get better despite our efforts to improve them [Will Rogers]

LoOne gets respectable from getting best jobs fast

If stupidy got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out? [Will Rogers]

In Hollywood you can see things at night that are fast enough to be in the Olympics in the day time. [Will Rogers]

Liberty doesn't work as well in practice as it does in speeches. [Will Rogers]

Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip. [Will Rogers]

If you can build a business up big enough, it's respectable. [Will Rogers]

Lord, let me live until I die. [Will Rogers]

The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has. [Will Rogers, Illiterate Digest (1924), Helping the Girls with their Income Taxes]

Nothing you can't spell will ever work. [Will Rogers]

You can't say that civilization don't advance, however, for in every war they kill you in a new way. [Will Rogers, New York Times, Dec. 23, 1929]

Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. [Will Rogers]

Golf: I have never been depressed enough to take up the game, but they say you get so sore at yourself you forget to hate your enemies. [Will Rogers] ◊

An economist's guess is liable to be as good as anybody else's. [Will Rogers]

The man with the best job in the country is the vice-president. All he has to do is get up every morning and say, How is the president? . [Will Rogers]

LoTo stop marrying, sulk!

I guess the only way to stop divorce is to stop marriage. [Will Rogers]

I'm not a member of any organized political party, I'm a Democrat! [Will Rogers]

Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. [Will Rogers]

A fool and his money are soon elected. [Will Rogers] MM



  1. First decide that things are changing, and that "things ain't what they used to be and never were" -
  2. One gets respectable from getting best jobs fast. Will excelled in it.
  3. And stop marrying-and-divorcing, that "marry-go-round".

IN NUCE First decide to get respectable through best jobs to be found. And don't divorce too often, for divorces cost a lot more than money.

Polite piano leaning

ANECDOTE Rogers had been asked by a firm of piano manufacturers to write a short testimonial for their instruments. Unwilling to endorse a product that he could not put to the test, Rogers simply replied,

"Dear Sirs, I guess your pianos are the best I ever leaned against. Yours truly, Will Rogers."


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