Will Rogers – “The Conscience of America”

He came from obscure beginnings, out in the badlands of Oklahoma. He was born in 1878, a time when the Wild West was still a great deal of that description. He grew up with a lesser interest in education, if fact he said that he: “studied the Fourth Grade Reader for 10 years.” His real interest was outdoors. He left home at 22 and went to Argentina to become a ranch owner. That didn’t work out so he went to South Africa to break horses. He ended up getting a job on “Texas Jack’s Wild West Circus” where he began a career that involved rope tricks. He finally came back to America and appeared in the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. He got to New York and eventually with Ziegfeld’s Follies. He was a cowboy doing rope tricks and began to comment on America. “All I know is what I read in the papers.” That led to a career in silent films in the 1920s. His career really took off when sound was introduced into movies because his Oklahoma twang and very endearing personality came through. He had begun to write a newspaper column and that became very successful. “I never met a man I didn’t like” was how he came across. His unexpected death in 1935 shook the world. Come and hear his rags to riches story.