To honor Native American Indian Heritage Month, today’s Google animated Doodle celebrates the plainspoken American Indian actor, humorist, author, movie producer, and public personality Will Rogers’ 140th birthday, who famously remarked, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” Born on this day in 1879 at Rogers Ranch in Oologah, Cherokee Territory, the entertainer became known as “America’s Cowboy Philosopher.”
Who was Will Rogers?
William Penn Adair Rogers was an American stage and movie actor, vaudeville performer, cowboy, humorist, newspaper columnist, and social pundit from Oklahoma. He was a Cherokee citizen born in the Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory.
Known as “Oklahoma’s Favorite Son”, Will Rogers was born to a Cherokee family in Indian Territory (presently part of Oklahoma). As an entertainer and humorist, he traveled around the world three times, made 71 movies (50 silent movies and 21 “talkies”), and composed in excess of 4,000 nationally syndicated newspaper columns.
The child of a Cherokee senator who raised Texas longhorns on his farm, Will Rogers grew up roping and riding. “A man that doesn’t love a horse,” he once said, ”there is something the matter with him.” He became so great at extravagant rope deceives that he visited the world as “The Cherokee Kid,” a carnival performer who ended up on Broadway in the Ziegfeld Follies.
Will Rogers’ vaudeville rope act prompted accomplishment in the Ziegfeld Follies, which thus prompted the first of his numerous movie contracts. His 1920s syndicated newspaper column and his radio appearances expanded his visibility and popularity.
Will Rogers crusaded for aviation development and gave Americans with first-hand accounts of his world travels. His earthy anecdotes and folksy style enabled him to make jokes about hoodlums, prohibition, politicians, government programs, and a host of other disputable topics in a manner that was valued by a national crowd, with nobody offended. His aphorisms, couched in hilarious terms, were broadly quoted: “I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.”
Will Rogers produced and featured in a 1922 film called The Ropin’ Fool, moving onto talking roles in movies like A Connecticut Yankee and State Fair.
By the mid-1930s Will Rogers was immensely prevalent in the United States, its leading political wit and the highest paid of Hollywood film stars.
By 1934, he was viewed as one of the most popular actors in Hollywood. He likewise hosted an exceptionally rated radio show and authored bestselling books and newspaper columns. At the point when the Great Depression hit America, Will Rogers rose as a remarkable pundit expressing a popular opinion on numerous issues of the time.
Will Rogers passed on in 1935 with pilot Wiley Post when their small airplane crashed in northern Alaska.
Will Rogers even gave an epigram on his most well-known motto:
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 didn’t like.” I am so proud of that, I can hardly wait to die so it can be carved.
Regardless of how successful he became, Will Rogers consistently stayed glad for his Cherokee legacy. While never faltering to offer his hilarious natively constructed wisdom about recent events and politics, however, separated from a brief stint as honorary mayor of Beverly Hills, Will Rogers opposed endeavors to be drafted into public service.
Will Rogers’ childhood home near Oologah, Oklahoma is presently a museum open to the public. His life and times additionally roused a melodic called The Will Rogers Follies. His inheritance lives on through the Will Rogers Memorial Museum in Claremore, Oklahoma and the Will Rogers State Historic Park in Pacific Palisades, California.