Will Rogers started out as a cowhand in Oklahoma and, though later in life he traveled throughout the world and talked man-to-man with presidents, kings, emperors, dictators and premiers, he always "kept his hand in" the cattle business.
With his humor or satire, he could bring a world down laughing.
Rogers was a cadet at Kemper Military Academy in Boonville, Mo., long before he dreamed of success in film, on stage and as a humorist.
He began his career as a roper and vaulter with the Wirth Brothers Circus in Australia, in 1903.
Then he brought his talents to vaudeville and for six years, he was a Ziegfeld Follies star.
In 1919 he turned to the motion pictures. The first picture he appeared in was "Laughing Bill Hyde," which was made by Sam Goldwyn at Fort Lee, N.J. His other pictures in those early days included "Two Wagons. Both Covered," "Doubling for Romeo," "A Texas Steer," "Honest Hutch," "Boys Will Be Boys" and "One Glorious Night."
Rogers' typical character was a small-town humorist with a shrewd and likable nature.
He returned to the Follies and remained until 1929, when the advent of talking pictures brought him back to Hollywood. His opportunities in talking pictures were far greater because his audience could hear Rogers.
His success in the films is well known. He built up a fortune, to which his earnings from his writings, both in the magazines and in his daily syndicated columns, contributed no small part.
He was noted for his work in charity, his political activism and his satirical writings. He traveled everywhere, almost always by air. He provided Americans with first-hand accounts of his travels. Today writing for newspapers in Washington. Tomorrow the dateline from Beverly Hills.