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Will Rogers

Birthdate: 4. November 1879
Date of death: 15. August 1935

William Penn Adair "Will" Rogers was a stage and motion picture actor, vaudeville performer, American cowboy, humorist, newspaper columnist, and social commentator.

Known as "Oklahoma's Favorite Son", Rogers was born to a prominent Cherokee Nation family in Indian Territory . He traveled around the world three times, made 71 movies , and wrote more than 4,000 nationally syndicated newspaper columns. By the mid-1930s, the American people adored Rogers. He was the leading political wit of his time, and was the highest paid Hollywood film star. Rogers died in 1935 with aviator Wiley Post, when their small airplane crashed in northern Alaska.

Rogers's vaudeville rope act led to success in the Ziegfeld Follies, which in turn led to the first of his many movie contracts. His 1920s syndicated newspaper column and his radio appearances increased his visibility and popularity. Rogers crusaded for aviation expansion, and provided Americans with first-hand accounts of his world travels. His earthy anecdotes and folksy style allowed him to poke fun at gangsters, prohibition, politicians, government programs, and a host of other controversial topics in a way that was appreciated by a national audience, with no one offended. His aphorisms, couched in humorous terms, were widely quoted: "I am not a member of an organized political party. I am a Democrat." Another widely quoted Will Rogers comment was "I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts." Rogers even provided an epigram on his most famous epigram:

When I die, my epitaph, or whatever you call those signs on gravestones, is going to read: "I joked about every prominent man of my time, but I never met a man I dident [sic] like." I am so proud of that, I can hardly wait to die so it can be carved.

„Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.“

—  Will Rogers

Variant: Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.

„We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others.“

—  Will Rogers

"The World Tomorrow" After the Manner of Great Journalists
The Illiterate Digest (1924)

„See they conducted experiments on convicts“

—  Will Rogers

Nationally syndicated column number 31, A Few Shots of Scopolamin (15 July 1923), after meeting Robert E. House, who had proposed the use of scopolamine as a truth serum, in The Use of Scopolamine in Criminology (1922).
Weekly columns
Context: See they conducted experiments on convicts... I don't know on what grounds they reason a man in jail is a bigger liar than one out of jail... The chances are telling the truth is what got him there... It would be a big aid to humanity, but it will never be, for already the politicians are up in arms against it... It would wreck the very foundation on which our political government is run... If you ever injected truth into politics you'd have no politics … Even the ministers are denouncing it now … Humanity is not yet ready for either real truth or real harmony.

„The chances are telling the truth is what got him there“

—  Will Rogers

Nationally syndicated column number 31, A Few Shots of Scopolamin (15 July 1923), after meeting Robert E. House, who had proposed the use of scopolamine as a truth serum, in The Use of Scopolamine in Criminology (1922).
Weekly columns
Context: See they conducted experiments on convicts... I don't know on what grounds they reason a man in jail is a bigger liar than one out of jail... The chances are telling the truth is what got him there... It would be a big aid to humanity, but it will never be, for already the politicians are up in arms against it... It would wreck the very foundation on which our political government is run... If you ever injected truth into politics you'd have no politics … Even the ministers are denouncing it now … Humanity is not yet ready for either real truth or real harmony.

„Be it pestilence, war, or famine, the rich get richer and poor get poorer. The poor even help arrange it.“

—  Will Rogers

Daily Telegram #1019, Thoughts Of Will Rogers On The Late Slumps In Stocks (31 October 1929)
Daily telegrams
Context: Sure must be a great consolation to the poor people who lost their stock in the late crash to know that it has fallen in the hands of Mr. Rockefeller, who will take care of it and see it has a good home and never be allowed to wander around unprotected again. There is one rule that works in every calamity. Be it pestilence, war, or famine, the rich get richer and poor get poorer. The poor even help arrange it.

„Every Gag I tell must be based on truth.“

—  Will Rogers

"Politics Getting Ready to Jell" <!-- p. 265 -->
The Illiterate Digest (1924)
Context: Every Gag I tell must be based on truth. No matter how much I may exaggerate it, it must have a certain amount of Truth.... Now Rumor travels Faster, but it don't stay put as long as Truth.

„So when all the yielding and objections is over, the other Senator said, "I object to the remarks of a professional joker being put into the Congressional Record." Taking a dig at me, see? They didn't want any outside fellow contributing.“

—  Will Rogers

Ch. 9<!-- chapter 9, pp. 156–57-->
Context: So when all the yielding and objections is over, the other Senator said, "I object to the remarks of a professional joker being put into the Congressional Record." Taking a dig at me, see? They didn't want any outside fellow contributing. Well, he had me wrong. Compared to them I'm an amateur, and the thing about my jokes is that they don't hurt anybody. You can say they're not funny or they're terrible or they're good or whatever it is, but they don't do no harm. But with Congress — every time they make a joke it's a law. And every time they make a law it's a joke.

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„When you put down the good things you ought to have done, and leave out the bad ones you did do — well, that’s Memoirs.“

—  Will Rogers

Context: When you put down the good things you ought to have done, and leave out the bad ones you did do — well, that’s Memoirs. <!-- Ch. 16

„The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.“

—  Will Rogers

Context: There are three kinds of men: The ones that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

„I tell you Folks, all Politics is Apple Sauce.“

—  Will Rogers

The Illiterate Digest (1924)
Context: I tell you Folks, all Politics is Apple Sauce. <!-- p. 30

„Humanity is not yet ready for either real truth or real harmony.“

—  Will Rogers

Nationally syndicated column number 31, A Few Shots of Scopolamin (15 July 1923), after meeting Robert E. House, who had proposed the use of scopolamine as a truth serum, in The Use of Scopolamine in Criminology (1922).
Weekly columns
Context: See they conducted experiments on convicts... I don't know on what grounds they reason a man in jail is a bigger liar than one out of jail... The chances are telling the truth is what got him there... It would be a big aid to humanity, but it will never be, for already the politicians are up in arms against it... It would wreck the very foundation on which our political government is run... If you ever injected truth into politics you'd have no politics … Even the ministers are denouncing it now … Humanity is not yet ready for either real truth or real harmony.

„It would wreck the very foundation on which our political government is run … If you ever injected truth into politics you'd have no politics“

—  Will Rogers

Nationally syndicated column number 31, A Few Shots of Scopolamin (15 July 1923), after meeting Robert E. House, who had proposed the use of scopolamine as a truth serum, in The Use of Scopolamine in Criminology (1922).
Weekly columns
Context: See they conducted experiments on convicts... I don't know on what grounds they reason a man in jail is a bigger liar than one out of jail... The chances are telling the truth is what got him there... It would be a big aid to humanity, but it will never be, for already the politicians are up in arms against it... It would wreck the very foundation on which our political government is run... If you ever injected truth into politics you'd have no politics … Even the ministers are denouncing it now … Humanity is not yet ready for either real truth or real harmony.

„The American people are a very generous people and will forgive almost any weakness, with the possible exception of stupidity.“

—  Will Rogers

The Illiterate Digest (1924)
Context: The American people are a very generous people and will forgive almost any weakness, with the possible exception of stupidity. <!-- p. 228

„There are three kinds of men: The ones that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.“

—  Will Rogers

Variant: There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

„Well, all I know is what I read in the papers.“

—  Will Rogers

Nationally syndicated column number 42, Blames All Ills on Earthquake (1923). This became a remark Rogers often used in his public appearances.
Weekly columns

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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