William Penn Adair "Will" Rogers, 1879 - 1935
Born: 4 November 1879, Oologah, Indian Territory (Oklahoma)
Died: 15 August 1935, Point Barrow, Alaska Territory
Born to Clement Rogers and Mary Schrimsher on the Dog Iron Ranch near the present-day Oolagah, Oklahoma on this day in 1879. His father was a Cherokee senator and judge, the county that now includes the ranch was named for Clement. "Will" attended Willow Hassel School at Neosho, Missouri and the Kemper Military School at Boonville, Missouri before returning to work the ranch where a freed slave taught him to use a lariat in his chores. In 1901 he went to Argentina with a partner to try ranching for himself, went bust, and sailed to South Africa where he worked horses for the British Army. The Boer War had just ended so the job didn't last long, he joined "Texas Jack's Wild West Circus" and started showing off his riding and roping in South Africa, then joined the Wirth Brothers Circus in Australia, finally returning to the US in 1904. Attending a vaudeville show at Madison Square Gardens, Rogers roped a steer that had escaped and was heading into the crowd, leading to a decade playing the Victoria Roof and most of the next as part of Flo Ziegfield's "Midnight Frolic" and "Ziegfield Follies". After fifty silent films, in which his witty commentary was useless, he signed with Fox Film in 1929 and was the highest paid actor in the US in 1934. A big fan of flying, Rogers had over 500,000 miles in the air before his final trip with aviation pioneer Wiley Post. Post's nose-heavy Lockheed crashed on takeoff from a lagoon near Barrow, Alaska.
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Will Rogers quotes:
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- A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries. permalink
- A fool and his money are soon elected. permalink
- A holding company is a thing where you hand an accomplice the goods while the policeman searches you. permalink
- A king can stand people fighting but he can't last long if people start thinking. permalink
- A remark generally hurts in proportion to it's truth. permalink
- About all I can say for the United States Senate is that it opens with a prayer and closes with an investigation. permalink
- Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don't have for something they don't need. permalink
- Alexander Hamilton originated the put and take system in our national treasury: the taxpayers put it in, and the politicians take it out. permalink
- Alexander Hamilton started the U.S. Treasury with nothing, and that was the closest our country has ever been to being even. permalink
- Always drink upstream from the herd. permalink
- America is a nation that conceives many odd inventions for getting somewhere but it can think of nothing to do once it gets there. permalink
- America is becoming so educated that ignorance will be a novelty. I will belong to the select few. permalink
- An economist's guess is liable to be as good as anybody else's. permalink
- An ignorant person is one who doesn't know what you have just found out. permalink
- An onion can make people cry, but there has never been a vegetable invented to make them laugh. permalink
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