B1567. P. J. O’BRIEN. Will Rogers, Ambassador of Good Will, Prince of Wit and Wisdom. Philadelphia, John C. Winston, 1935. 288pp. Photos.
“William Penn Adair ‘Will’ Rogers was an American cowboy, vaudeville performer, humorist, social commentator and motion picture actor. He was one of the world's best-known celebrities in the 1920s and 1930s. Known as Oklahoma's favorite son, Rogers was born to a prominent Cherokee Nation family in Indian Territory (now part of Oklahoma). 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 in 1935 with aviator Wiley Post, when their small airplane crashed in Alaska.
Biographers agree that the strong marriage, fidelity, loyal friendship and trust between Will and Betty Rogers were the keystones of Will Rogers' incredible career and life success. The magic of an eight-year friendship with Betty Blake had blossomed into a towering romance that had started in 1900. ‘Getting Married’, was inscribed in the calendar book of the vaudeville performer: 23 November, 1908. For the next 26 years, Will Rogers would soar in popularity and lasting greatness. The secret leavening was Betty Blake. With all possible tenderness, he thrust his bride from a simple life in Arkansas into the bustling world of show business, stardom, communications, power politics and high finance. Betty Blake was perfect for all challenges. She steered her husband adroitly and properly. An ideal wife and mother, she also was the quiet, stable, innovative advisor and peerless partner.”
- Zillah Dorset Akron