Author: Betty Blake Rogers
Medium Trade Paperback
Some Wear On Covers
Of the many books written about Will Rogers, none can have the immediacy, firsthand knowledge, and personal perspective of this account by his wife, Betty Blake Rogers. Her story is of Will Rogers, from wayward youth to international celebrity.
Will was born in 1870 in the Cherokee nation of Indian Territory, near what is now Oologah, and died in 1935 with Wiley Post in an airplane crash in Alaska. That period witnessed the passing of the frontier and the arrival of the air age, and Will Rogers became a unique part and interpreter of it all.
Young Will was part Cherokee and all cowboy. He never took much to book learning and ran away from school to become a ranch hand in Texas, where he once helped drive a trail herd to Kansas. Later he cowboyed in South America and worked as the Cherokee Kidd, champion roper, in a wild west show in South Africa and a circus in Australia and New Zealand. Back in the United States he moved from the wild west circuit to the stage, where he became a modest success with his rope act. It was when Will began supplementing his act with commentary that he achieved his greatest success. The audience response to the Will Rogers personality and humor was overwhelming.
From one-man act in vaudeville to the Ziegfeld Follies, to radio and movie star, to newspaper columnist, to lecturer and author, Will Rogers became one of the world's best-known and most-loved personalities. The Will Rogers "style" was genuine Will Rogers - humor that was disarming, infectious, sincere, and astute. He was unpretentious and as comfortable as an old shoe, friend of everybody from man in the street to kings and presidents, and what he had to say and the way he said it had universal appeal.
As cowboy, sage, writer, philosopher, humorist, performer, ambassador, and humanitarian. Will Rogers has become a part of American history and culture. This account of his life affords a behind-the-scenes insight into Will Rogers the man as distinguished from the image. It was first published in 1941 and is reissued with additional illustrations and with a foreword by Reba Collins.
Betty Blake, from Rogers, Arkansas, first met Will in 1899 while visiting relatives in Oologah. They were married in 1908, after Will had become successful enough to support a family, and their life together, with their three children, is told here from the vantage point of the person who knew Will best. Readers will be grateful to Better Rogers for this story of life with Will. Dr. Reba Collins is Curator of the Will Rogers Memorial, Claremore, Oklahoma.
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