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2011 Hall of Fame Inductee
William "Will" Penn Adair Rogers

Will Rogers was an American cowboy, comedian humorist, social commentator, vaudeville performer, actor, and one of the best-known celebrities in the 1920s and 1930s.  Will Rogers was born on the Dog Iron Ranch in Indian Territory, near present-day Oologah, Oklahoma on November 4, 1879. The house he was born in had been built in 1875 and was known as the "White House on the Verdigris River." His parents, Clement Vann Rogers (1839–1911) and Mary America Schrimsher (1838–1890), were both Cherokee, and Rogers himself was 9/32 (just over 1/4) Cherokee. Rogers quipped that his ancestors didn't come over on the Mayflower but they "met the boat." Mary Rogers was quarter-Cherokee and a hereditary member of the Paint Clan. She died when Will was 11, and his father remarried less than two years after her death.

Rogers was the youngest of eight children. He was named for the Cherokee leader Col. William Penn Adair.  Known as Oklahoma’s favorite son, he traveled around the world three times, made 71 movies (50 silent films and 21 "talkies"), wrote more than 4,000 nationally-syndicated newspaper columns, and became a world-famous figure. By the mid-1930s, Rogers was adored by the American people. He was the leading political wit of the Progressive Era, and was the top-paid Hollywood movie star at the time. Rogers died August 15, 1935 with aviator Wiley Post, when their small airplane crashed near Barrow, Alaska.

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