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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.


1. Decide 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

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

Make crime pay. Become a Lawyer. - Will Rogers

Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. - Will Rogers, New York Times Aug. 1924]

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

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

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

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

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

2. One gets "respectable enough" from best jobs

Hawaii is the only place I know where they lay flowers on you while you are alive. - Will Rogers, The Wit and Wisdom of 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

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

3. To stop a thing, sulk

People dislike gossip . . . when you gossip about them. - Will Rogers ✪ 


First decide to get respectable through best jobs to be found. And don't marry-and-divorce much, for a marry-go-round may cost money and more too.

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."


Will Rogers quotations, Rogers quoted, Literature  

Wertheim, Arthur Frank, and Barbara Bair, eds. 1995. The Papers of Will Rogers: From Vaudeville to Broadway. Volume Three September 1908-August 1915. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press. ⍽▢⍽ Entering behind many facades.

Harvesting the hay

Symbols, brackets, signs and text icons explained: (1) Text markers(2) Digesting.

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