Born in 1879 on a large ranch in the Cherokee Nation near what later would become Oologah, Oklahoma, Will Rogers was taught by a freed slave how to use a lasso as a tool to work Texas Longhorn cattle on the family ranch. As he grew older, Will Rogers’ roping skills developed so special that he was listed in the Guinness Book of Records for throwing three lassos at once: One rope caught the running horse’s neck, the other would hoop around the rider and the third swooped up under the horse to loop all four legs.
His hard-earned skills won him jobs trick roping in wild west shows and on the vaudeville stages where, soon, he started telling small jokes. Will Rogers soon became recognized as being a very informed and smart philosopher–telling the truth in very simple words so that everyone could understand. Will Rogers was the star of Broadway and 71 movies of the 1920s and 1930s; a popular broadcaster; besides writing more than 4,000 syndicated newspaper columns and befriending Presidents, Senators and Kings. He wrote six books. In fact he published more than two million words. He was the first big time radio commentator, was a guest at the White House and his opinions were sought by the leaders of the world.
While a fast horse thrilled Will Rogers, he also loved flying. It was on a flight to Alaska in 1935 with a daring one-eyed Oklahoma pilot named Wiley Post that their plane crashed and both men lost their lives.
“Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
“Everybody is ignorant, only at different subjects.”
“Get someone else to blow your horn and the sound will carry twice as far.”
“Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.”
“Live so that you wouldn’t mind selling your pet parrot to the town gossip.”
“This thing of being a hero, about the main thing to do is to know when to die. Prolonged life has ruined more men than it ever made.”
“No man is great if he thinks he is.”
And some of Will Rogers Humor
Don’t squat with your spurs on.
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.
If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.
It don’t take a genius to spot a goat in a flock of sheep.
If you’re ridin’ ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there.
Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.
Never miss a good chance to shut up.
Never slap a man who’s chewin’ tobacco.
The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back in your pocket.
There’s two theories to arguin’ with a woman. Neither one works.