Will Rogers

Will Rogers

A friend, and frequent critic, of several U.S. Presidents, Rogers once visited Warren G. Harding (1865-1923, President 1921-23) and said, "'Morning, Mr. President! Would you like to hear the latest political jokes?" Harding replied, "You don't have to, Will. I appointed them."

As host of the 1933 Academy Awards ceremony, he made a minor blunder when announcing the Best Director Award. After reading the nominees he told the winner, "Come and get it, Frank!" Frank Capra (nominated for Lady for a Day (1933)) was halfway to the podium before he realized Rogers meant Frank Lloyd (winner for Cavalcade (1933)). Capra could well afford to lick his wounds: He won the following year for It Happened One Night (1934) and became Academy President the year after that.

Attended Kemper Military School & College in Boonville, Missouri.

Buried in Claremore, Oklahoma, at the Will Rogers Memorial. There's a lot of memorabilia, and it's a popular tourist attraction.

Charter member of the Hall of Great Westerners of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1955.

Cousin of Clu Gulager.

Died in the Arctic crash of a plane piloted by the world-renowned, one-eyed pioneer aviator, Wiley Post (in which Post died as well).

Has a turnpike named in his honor. The Will Rogers Turnpike is in northeast Oklahoma running from just outside of Tulsa, through Will's hometown of Claremore to the Missouri state line.

He was awarded 2 Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Radio at 6608 Hollywood Boulevard and for Motion Pictures at 6401 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.

His birthplace in the Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) is cited variously as Colagah, Colgah or Cologah. The correct name is "Oologah", which is situated in the northeast corner of the state, approximately 25 miles/40 kilometers north-northeast of Tulsa.

In 1922 his weekly articles for the "New York Times" became so popular that they appeared in more than 500 U.S. newspapers daily. The articles dished out down-to-earth, biting criticism of politics, politicians, big business and the imbalance of the wealthy and the poor. In all, Rogers wrote more than 2,800 daily articles up until his death. H.L. Mencken labeled him "the most dangerous man alive" because of the power his comments had on an adoring public.

Is portrayed by Keith Carradine in Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994)

Is portrayed by Buff Brady in W.C. Fields and Me (1976)

Pictured on a 15¢ US commemorative postage stamp in the Performing Arts and Artists series, 4 November 1979.

Pictured on a 3¢ US postage stamp in the Famous Americans series, issued 4 November 1948.

Played himself in Will Rogers: Look Back in Laughter (1987) (TV), a 1987 or 1988 HBO documentary, produced by Harold Ramis.

Rogers had four children with wife, Betty. They were: Fred (died 1920), Mary (died 1989), Will Rogers Jr. (died 1993) and Jimmy Rogers (died 2000).

Served as Honorary Mayor of Beverly Hills, California, from 1926-1928.

Was part Cherokee Indian.

Was portrayed by his son, Will Rogers Jr., in the movie, The Story of Will Rogers (1952).