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Page 12 text:
Eulogy to Will Rogers
WE HAVE lost a great friend. The stage
and screen have lost a great artist. Amer-
ica has lost her greatest humorist since
Mark Twain. He gave gloriously of every
moment enriching our lives with the treas-
ures of his accomplishments.
Page 14 text:
I . N NOVEMBER 4, 1879, in a ranch house near Oolagah, Indian Territory,
Wllllam Penn Adair Rogers was born. From' both maternal and paternal sides Will
Rogers derived a strain of Cherokee Indian blood, a fact which he proudly proclaimed
in later life. At the age of five, baby Will had already become a proficient rider, and
had made his first effort with a lariat.
His early years of education were scant, yet they were followed by rich experi-
ence on his father's ranch in every capacity from cowhand to foreman. Whatever
his responsibility, he was often found sitting on the fence of the corral cracking
jokes. By the time the herd of cattle that he had been given had risen to the selling
price of 512,000 Will's vagabond spirit stirred him with a longing for far away
places. This sole-itching desire took him to New Orleans, from there to England,
where he booked steerage passage to Rio die Janeiro. Then the Boer War broke in
Africa and Will hopped a cattle boat for England, and from England, at freighter to
Africa. He was eagerly enlisted into the Boer army because of his knowledge of
horses. After this experience his feet again itched for new and unseen lands. In
order to get to Australia he joined a Wild West show, which in time took him to
gqapan and China. In 1904 he worked in a Wild West show in St. Louis at the World's
To star in the movies in 1919 the actor had to captivate the young generation
by his looks, and the cowboy philosopher, who looked as if he had not finished
cutting his own hair with a pair of dull sheep shears, could not display his great
personality to the best advantage. Despite all his fun making, Rogers was an emo-
tional actor of rare talent and could make audiences forget that he was a comedian
in scenes where he was called upon to portray the simple human emotions that
touch every soul of mankind. Those who saw "Mr. Skitch," "Dr, Bull," "State Fair"
and "Lightning," as well as others so broadly known, think of Will only as a human
being torn with emotion.
The radio was not' long in claiming Will: Rogers for one of its star performers.
In his: radio talks he found Presidents and politicians made shining targets for his
barbed shafts of humor. In March, 1930, he signed a contract for fourteen radio
talks at S'72,000. His chief interests in the manners and customs of the great Amer-
ican public enabled him to tell us the hard, blunt truths about ourselves-truths
about our politics, our civic standards and our social habits. We took them with a
In addition to the fame that came from Will's moving pictures and radio per-
formances, he has to his credit writings representing the shrewd observations that
rushed through his mind-skillfully coated ideas with a little humor, sound thinking
that made his articles welcome daily to thousands of persons. As a commentator on
the ever-changing political scene Will Rogers was the court jester of the nation, but
behind his straight shots of humor was a sound wisdom that was even sought by high
Many are the anecdotes that illustrate Rogers' philanthropic interests.
Will, a philanthropist, that any man might well emulate, once remarked in a serious
mood: "Money doesn't worry me any more. All I care about is a. good blue suit."
He paused and went on: "It doesn.'t even have to be good." He was a sure haven
for old actors and vaudeville players, a staunch friend of cowboys, a loyal and liberal
contributor to the Salvation Army, a powerful helping hand to the Red Cross.
Will Rogers never did an unkind, thing .of which, there is any record, and more
to his credit is the fact that he never hit the fellow that was down. He, joked the
big man who was above the masses.
The death of Will Rogers and Wiley Post, master aviator, in the barren wilder-
ness a few miles from the last outposts of civilization in 'North America, was a shock
to the world, for he was a symbol of America and Americans, an example of what
our country holds for the ordinary young man from the country' if he will combine
with his ability the qualities of frankness and tolerance and genuine devotion to living.
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