Welcome to "The Writings of Will Rogers!"

 

Almost everyone has a favorite Will Rogers quote. There are hundreds of them, if not thousands. After all, Will Rogers was a prolific writer and most of his famous sayings can be found within his extensive writings. He put approximately two million words in print—six books, more than 3,600 newspaper columns, and scores of magazine article—in a span of only sixteen years, stretching from the publication of his first newspaper article in 1916 until his last one in August 1935.

 

Until the creation of this online version, a comprehensive, professionally edited and annotated collection of “The Writings of Will Rogers” was only available in the twenty-one-volume set published by Oklahoma State University Press from 1973–1983. Many of those books have been long out of print, and the others are not easily obtainable. Even when available as a set, searching the several separate volumes for particular quotes or phrases or concepts has been problematic, if not impossible.

 

Now you and other users worldwide can readily and freely access the complete four volumes of Rogers’ Daily Telegrams  and the six volumes of weekly articles. You can search easily and quickly by phrases and keywords.

 

Click on the Daily Telegrams and Weekly Articles links below and begin to experience the authentic Will Rogers. Then use the search engine to find what he said about the famous and not so famous, the events that were capturing headlines, the dilemmas that people worldwide faced, and even everyday situations and concerns. Know that what you are accessing is the genuine Will Rogers. After all, there’s no substitute for the real thing.

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Funding for the online edition of The Writings of Will Rogers has been generously provided by the Oklahoma Centennial Commission and the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation.

 

 

The Daily Telegrams of Will Rogers

Perhaps none of his writings made Will Rogers more famous than his Daily Telegrams. Syndicated in more than 500 newspapers, including at least one in every major city, these short daily columns of down-to-earth, humorous takes on current events, everyday issues, and life’s questions reached millions of readers throughout the country. First published in the New York Times in late July 1926 and continuing until Rogers’ death in August 1935, they would through the years shape public opinions, impact government policies, and influence peoples’ perceptions. Readers were known to read first Will’s Daily Telegram each morning, then the rest of the newspaper.

 

Rogers’ Daily Telegrams continue to be popular. Filled with many of the best of his wit and wisdom, they are sought out constantly and widely by individuals worldwide. Using the online books, enthusiasts, researchers, students, scholars, and other users can now search effortlessly for a favorite saying, a quote about a famous personality, an observation about Prohibition, a thought about the New Deal, a gibe at college athletics, virtually any possible topic that might have arisen in the minds of Americans and on the pages of their newspapers in the first third of the twentieth century. And, as with most of Rogers’ remarks, the quotes, observations, thoughts, and gibes will resonate with timeliness and universality.

 

As with the printed books, the individual online volumes of Daily Telegrams are divided somewhat equally and, perhaps appropriate to Rogers’ frequent focus on politics, coincide with presidential administrations (see titles below). These electronic books replicate almost exactly the volumes as published by Oklahoma State University Press (1978–1979). Included is much of the fore matter and all of the annotations. No photos or indices have been included; thus, the online pagination differs from the OSU books. (See “Introduction” in Volume 1 (pages i-iv) for a history of the Daily Telegrams.)

 

Open an individual volume or use the option of the full four-volume set. Then click on the link SEARCH DAILY TELEGRAMS. It will take you to a user-friendly search engine that will quickly conduct whatever search you make, such as a keyword, and then will list all results. Clicking on a result will take you to an exact reference.

 

Search Helps:

When searching "The Writings of Will Rogers," remember that Rogers took liberties with spelling and grammar. Here are some tips that might make your search more successful:

• Do not use quote marks.
• Use a single keyword with each search.
• Avoid searches that involve contractions. Rogers did not always use apostrophes; sometimes he spelled out a contraction (e.g., "dident" for "didn’t"). For example, if searching for the quote "I never met a man I didn’t like," insert in the search window only a part of the quote and avoid the contraction (e.g., I never met a man).
• Try different possible spellings of a proper name or a concept.

The Daily Telegrams are in the Adobe PDF format.
You can download a free copy of Adobe's Reader by clicking on the Get Adobe Reader logo.

Weekly Articles

A proven star of Broadway and a veteran of cinema by the early 1920s, Will Rogers was presented with a new venue of expression in December 1922: a nationally syndicated newspaper column. For years he had succeeded in placing a few scattered articles in newspapers. Some of the pieces appeared in semi-syndicated format, more often on an individual, freelance basis. Most consisted simply of recycled stage material, one- or two-liners that appeared in abbreviated paragraph form and that originated from the gags he used at the Midnight Frolic, the Ziegfeld Follies, speaking engagements, and benefit performances. Occasionally, he contributed an article focused on one or two specific topics. He might tackle politics, Prohibition, foreign affairs, traffic, sports, but even in these a trademark joke or two would likely appear. Rogers’ entry into the realm of newspaper syndication in December 1922 offered him a regularly scheduled voice and a potential audience of millions of readers nationwide. It gave him coveted space in the pages of the New York Times, the most respected newspaper in the country and the only one at the time that could possibly claim the title of a national read.

 

The debut in syndication of what was to become commonly known as the “Weekly Article,” Rogers’ few to several hundred words in each Sunday edition, became a milestone in his development as a national political voice, although his first offerings proved less than auspicious. Over time he moved away from the retelling of his stage routine—what was familiar and easy to him—and into that of political commentary with theme, substance, and depth. He became a writer. McNaught Syndicate, a new company, initially signed a few handfuls of newspapers, but the numbers would continue to grow and the territory broaden until within a decade Rogers could claim hundreds of papers across the country as subscribers to his column, making him one of the most widely read political commentators in the United States.

 

The individual online volumes of the Weekly Articles replicate almost exactly the original series published by Oklahoma State University Press (1980-82). Included is much of the fore matter and all of the annotations, with some updating of historical information. No photos or indices have been included; thus the online pagination differs from the print editions.

 

When you’re ready to access the online Weekly Articles, you may open an individual volume. Click on the link SEARCH WEEKLY ARTICLES. It will take you to a user-friendly search engine that will quickly conduct whatever search you wish to make, such as by keyword, and then will list all results. Clicking on a result will take you to an exact reference.

 

Search Helps:

When searching "The Writings of Will Rogers," remember that Rogers took liberties with spelling and grammar. Here are some tips that might make your search more successful:

• Do not use quote marks.
• Use a single keyword with each search.
• Avoid searches that involve contractions. Rogers did not always use apostrophes; sometimes he spelled out a contraction (e.g., "dident" for "didn’t"). For example, if searching for the quote "I never met a man I didn’t like," insert in the search window only a part of the quote and avoid the contraction (e.g., I never met a man).
• Try different possible spellings of a proper name or a concept.

The Daily Telegrams are in the Adobe PDF format.
You can download a free copy of Adobe's Reader by clicking on the Get Adobe Reader logo.

 

"Well, they finally stopped us from sending marines to every war that we could hear of. They are having one in Afghanistan. The thing will be over before Congress can pronounce it, much less find out where it is located." - Will Rogers

Call Us: 1-918-341-0719   /   email - wrinfo@willrogers.com 

 

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