Will Rogers Quotes

William Penn Adair “Will” Rogers, 1879 – 1935

Born: 4 November 1879, Oologah, Indian Territory (Oklahoma)
Died: 15 August 1935, Point Barrow, Alaska Territory

Born to Clement Rogers and Mary Schrimsher on the Dog Iron Ranch near the present-day Oolagah, Oklahoma on this day in 1879. His father was a Cherokee senator and judge, the county that now includes the ranch was named for Clement. “Will” attended Willow Hassel School at Neosho, Missouri and the Kemper Military School at Boonville, Missouri before returning to work the ranch where a freed slave taught him to use a lariat in his chores. In 1901 he went to Argentina with a partner to try ranching for himself, went bust, and sailed to South Africa where he worked horses for the British Army. The Boer War had just ended so the job didn’t last long, he joined “Texas Jack’s Wild West Circus” and started showing off his riding and roping in South Africa, then joined the Wirth Brothers Circus in Australia, finally returning to the US in 1904. Attending a vaudeville show at Madison Square Gardens, Rogers roped a steer that had escaped and was heading into the crowd, leading to a decade playing the Victoria Roof and most of the next as part of Flo Ziegfield’s “Midnight Frolic” and “Ziegfield Follies”. After fifty silent films, in which his witty commentary was useless, he signed with Fox Film in 1929 and was the highest paid actor in the US in 1934. A big fan of flying, Rogers had over 500,000 miles in the air before his final trip with aviation pioneer Wiley Post. Post’s nose-heavy Lockheed crashed on takeoff from a lagoon near Barrow, Alaska.

Will Rogers quotes:

A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries.
    Will Rogers

A fool and his money are soon elected.
    Will Rogers

A holding company is a thing where you hand an accomplice the goods while the policeman searches you.
    Will Rogers

A king can stand people fighting but he can’t last long if people start thinking.
    Will Rogers

A remark generally hurts in proportion to it’s truth.
    Will Rogers

About all I can say for the United States Senate is that it opens with a prayer and closes with an investigation.
    Will Rogers

Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don’t have for something they don’t need.
    Will Rogers

Alexander Hamilton originated the put and take system in our national treasury: the taxpayers put it in, and the politicians take it out.
    Will Rogers

Alexander Hamilton started the U.S. Treasury with nothing, and that was the closest our country has ever been to being even.
    Will Rogers

Always drink upstream from the herd.
    Will Rogers

America is a nation that conceives many odd inventions for getting somewhere but it can think of nothing to do once it gets there.
    Will Rogers

America is becoming so educated that ignorance will be a novelty. I will belong to the select few.
    Will Rogers

An economist’s guess is liable to be as good as anybody else’s.
    Will Rogers

An ignorant person is one who doesn’t know what you have just found out.
    Will Rogers

An onion can make people cry, but there has never been a vegetable invented to make them laugh.
    Will Rogers

Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate; now what’s going to happen to us with both a Senate and a House?

Will Rogers
And kid Congress and the Senate, don’t scold ’em. They are just children thats never grown up. They don’t like to be corrected in company. Don’t send messages to ’em, send candy.

Will Rogers
Baseball is a skilled game. It’s America’s game – it, and high taxes.

Will Rogers
Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for.

Will Rogers
Being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.

Will Rogers
Buy land. They ain’t making any more of the stuff.

Will Rogers
Chaotic action is preferable to orderly inaction.

Will Rogers
Communism is like Prohibition, it’s a good idea but it won’t work.

Will Rogers
Communism to me is one-third practice and two-thirds explanation.

Will Rogers
Democrats never agree on anything, that’s why they’re Democrats. If they agreed with each other, they would be Republicans.

Will Rogers
Diplomats are just as essential to starting a war as soldiers are for finishing it…. You take diplomacy out of war, and the thing would fall flat in a week.

Will Rogers
Do the best you can, and don’t take life too serious.

Will Rogers
Don’t squat with your spurs on.

Will Rogers
Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.

Will Rogers
Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

Will Rogers

Every Gag I tell must be based on truth. No matter how much I may exaggerate it, it must have a certain amount of Truth…. Now Rumor travels Faster, but it don’t stay put as long as Truth.

Will Rogers
Every Harvard class should have one Democrat to rescue it from oblivion.

Will Rogers
Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.

Will Rogers

“Defending My Soup Plate Position” in The Illiterate Digest (1924)
Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.

Will Rogers
Everything is funny as long as it is happening to Somebody Else.

Will Rogers
Get someone else to blow your horn and the sound will carry twice as far.

Will Rogers
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

Will Rogers
Government spending? I don’t know what it’s all about. I don’t know any more about this thing than an economist does, and, God knows, he doesn’t know much.

Will Rogers
Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.

Will Rogers
Heroing is one of the shortest-lived professions there is.

Will Rogers
I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat.

Will Rogers
I bet after seeing us, George Washington would sue us for calling him “father.”

Will Rogers
I bet you if I had met him and had a chat with him, I would have found him a very interesting and human fellow, for I never yet met a man that I didn’t like.

Will Rogers
I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.

Will Rogers

Saturday Review (25 August 1962)
I doubt if a charging elephant, or a rhino, is as determined or as hard to check as a socially ambitious mother.

Will Rogers

“Daily Telegrams” syndicated newspaper column (10 May 1932)

I guess there is nothing that will get your mind off everything like golf. I have never been depressed enough to take up the game, but they say you get so sore at yourself you forget to hate your enemies.

Will Rogers
I have a scheme for stopping war. It’s this – no nation is allowed to enter a war till they have paid for the last one.

Will Rogers
I have always said that a conference was held for one reason only, to give everybody a chance to get sore at everybody else. Sometimes it takes two or three conferences to scare up a war, but generally one will do it.

Will Rogers
I never expected to see the day when girls would get sunburned in the places they now do.

Will Rogers
I not only “don’t choose to run” but I don’t even want to leave a loophole in case I am drafted, so I won’t “choose”. I will say “won’t run” no matter how bad the country will need a comedian by that time. A comedian can only last till he either takes himself serious or his audience takes him serious.

Will Rogers
I originated a remark many years ago that I think has been copied more than any little thing that I’ve every said, and I used it in the FOLLIES of 1922. I said America has a unique record. We never lost a war and we never won a conference in our lives. I believe that we could without any degree of egotism, single-handed lick any nation in the world. But we can’t confer with Costa Rica and come home with our shirts on.

Will Rogers

quoted by his niece Paula McSpadden Love in The Will Rogers Book (1972)
I read about eight newspapers in a day. When I’m in a town with only one newspaper, I read it eight times.

Will Rogers
I see a good deal of talk from Washington about lowering taxes. I hope they do get ’em lowered enough so people can afford to pay ’em.

Will Rogers
I tell you Folks, all Politics is Apple Sauce.

Will Rogers
I was born because it was a habit in those days, people didn’t know anything else … I was not a Child Prodigy, because a Child Prodigy is a child who knows as much when it is a child as it does when it grows up.

Will Rogers
I would rather be the man who bought the Brooklyn Bridge than the man who sold it.

Will Rogers
If advertisers spent the same amount of money on improving their products as they do on advertising then they wouldn’t have to advertise them.

Will Rogers
If I studied all my life, I couldn’t think up half the number of funny things passed in one session of congress.

Will Rogers
If Stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?

Will Rogers
If the other fellow sells cheaper than you, it is called dumping. ‘Course, if you sell cheaper than him, that’s mass production.

Will Rogers

If the world comes to an end, I want to be in Cincinnati. Everything comes there ten years later.

Will Rogers
If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.

Will Rogers
If we got one-tenth of what was promised to us in these acceptance speeches there wouldn’t be any inducement to go to heaven.

Will Rogers
If you can build a business up big enough, it’s respectable.

Will Rogers
If you don’t learn to laugh at trouble, you won’t have anything to laugh at when you are old.

Will Rogers
If you ever injected truth into politics you would have no politics.

Will Rogers
If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

Will Rogers
If you get to thinking you’re a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else’s dog around.

Will Rogers
If you make any money, the government shoves you in the creek once a year with it in your pockets, and all that don’t get wet you can keep.

Will Rogers
If you’re riding’ ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there.

Will Rogers
I’m not a real movie star. I’ve still got the same wife I started out with twenty-eight years ago.

Will Rogers
In Europe public men do resign. But here it’s a lost art. You have to impeach ’em.

Will Rogers
In Hollywood the woods are full of people that learned to write but evidently can’t read. If they could read their stuff, they’d stop writing.

Will Rogers
In Hollywood you can see things at night that are fast enough to be in the Olympics in the day time.

Will Rogers
Instead of giving money to found colleges to promote learning, why don’t they pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting anybody from learning anything? If it works as good as the Prohibition one did, why, in five years we would have the smartest race of people on earth.

Will Rogers

It don’t take a genius to spot a goat in a flock of sheep.

Will Rogers
It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so.

Will Rogers
It’s not what you pay a man, but what he costs you that counts.

Will Rogers
Jester: I can make a joke about any subject.
King: Make a joke about me.
Jester: The king is not a subject.

Will Rogers
Labor leaders don’t do much laboring after they are able to lead.

Will Rogers
Last year we said, ‘Things can’t go on like this’, and they didn’t, they got worse.

Will Rogers
Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier’n puttin’ it back.

Will Rogers
Liberty doesn’t work as well in practice as it does in speeches.

Will Rogers
Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.

Will Rogers
Long ago when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called witchcraft. Today it’s called golf.

Will Rogers
Lord, the money we do spend on Government and it’s not one bit better than the government we got for one-third the money twenty years ago.

Will Rogers
Make crime pay. Become a lawyer.

Will Rogers
Money and women are the most sought after and the least known about of any two things we have.

Will Rogers
Mothers are the only race of people that speak in the same tongue. A mother in Manchuria could converse with a mother in Nebraska and never miss a word.

Will Rogers

syndicated radio broadcast (11 May 1930)
Never blame a legislative body for not doing something. When they do nothing, they don’t hurt anybody. When they do something is when they become dangerous.

Will Rogers

Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.

Will Rogers
Never let yesterday use up too much of today.

Will Rogers
Never miss a good chance to shut up.

Will Rogers
Never slap a man who’s chewing tobacco.

Will Rogers
No man is great if he thinks he is.

Will Rogers
Nothing you can’t spell will ever work.

Will Rogers
Now everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody Else, but when it happens to you, why it seems to lose some of its Humor, and if it keeps on happening, why the entire laughter kinder Fades out of it.

Will Rogers
On account of being a democracy and run by the people, we are the only nation in the world that has to keep a government four years, no matter what it does.

Will Rogers
One Ad is worth more to a paper than forty Editorials.

Will Rogers
One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been.

Will Rogers
One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young.

Will Rogers
One-third of the people in the United States promote, while the other two-thirds provide.

Will Rogers
Our constitution protects aliens, drunks, and U. S. Senators. There ought to be one day (just one) when there is open season on senators.

Will Rogers
Our foreign policy is an open book: a checkbook.

Will Rogers
Outside of traffic, there is nothing that has held this country back as much as committees.

Will Rogers

quoted by Richard M. Ketchum in Will Rogers, His Life and Times (1973)

People are getting smarter nowadays; they are letting lawyers, instead of their conscience, be their guide.

Will Rogers
People who fly into a rage always make a bad landing.

Will Rogers

quoted by Jacob Morton Braude in Second Encyclopedia of Stories, Quotations, and Anecdotes (1957)
People’s minds are changed through observation and not through argument.

Will Rogers
Politics ain’t worrying this country one-tenth as much as where to find a parking space.

Will Rogers
Politics has got so expensive that it takes lots of money to even get beat with.

Will Rogers
Prohibition is better than no liquor at all.

Will Rogers
Some guy invented Vitamin A out of a carrot. I’ll bet he can’t invent a good meal out of one.

Will Rogers
Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know “why” I look this way. I’ve traveled a long way and some of the roads weren’t paved.

Will Rogers
Sure must be a great consolation to the poor people who lost their stock in the late crash to know that it has fallen in the hands of Mr. Rockefeller, who will take care of it and see it has a good home and never be allowed to wander around unprotected again. There is one rule that works in every calamity. Be it pestilence, war, or famine, the rich get richer and poor get poorer. The poor even help arrange it.

Will Rogers
Take the diplomacy out of war and the thing would fall flat in a week.

Will Rogers
Ten men in our country could buy the whole world and ten million can’t buy enough to eat.

Will Rogers
The 1928 Republican Convention opened with a prayer. If the Lord can see His way clear to bless the Republican Party the way it’s been carrying on, then the rest of us ought to get it without even asking.

Will Rogers
The American people are a very generous people and will forgive almost any weakness, with the possible exception of stupidity.

Will Rogers
The best doctor in the world is a veterinarian. He can’t ask his patients what is the matter – he’s got to just know.

Will Rogers
The best way out of a difficulty is through it.

Will Rogers

The best way to make a fire with two sticks is to make sure one of them is a match.

Will Rogers
The English should give Ireland home rule – and reserve the motion picture rights.

Will Rogers
The farmer has to be an optimist or he wouldn’t still be a farmer.

Will Rogers
The fellow that can only see a week ahead is always the popular fellow, for he is looking with the crowd. But the one that can see years ahead, he has a telescope but he can’t make anybody believe that he has it.

Will Rogers
The income tax has made more Liars out of the American people than golf has. Even when you make one out on the level, you don’t know when it’s through if you are a Crook or a Martyr.

Will Rogers

The Illiterate Digest (1924)
The Income Tax has made more Liars out of the American people than Golf has.

Will Rogers

The Illiterate Digest (1924)
The man with the best job in the country is the vice-president. All he has to do is get up every morning and say, “How is the president?”

Will Rogers
The more that learn to read the less learn how to make a living. That’s one thing about a little education. It spoils you for actual work. The more you know the more you think somebody owes you a living.

Will Rogers
The more you read and observe about this Politics thing, you got to admit that each party is worse than the other. The one that’s out always looks the best.

Will Rogers
The movies are the only business where you can go out front and applaud yourself.

Will Rogers
The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.

Will Rogers
The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets.

Will Rogers
The only time people dislike gossip is when you gossip about them.

Will Rogers
The only way to solve the traffic problems of the country is to pass a law that only paid-for cars are allowed to use the highways. That would make traffic so scarce, we could use our boulevards for children’s playgrounds.

Will Rogers
The only way you can beat the lawyers is to die with nothing.

Will Rogers

The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back in your pocket.

Will Rogers
The rest of the people know the condition of the country, for they live in it, but Congress has no idea what is going on in America, so the President has to tell ’em.

Will Rogers
The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking spaces.

Will Rogers
The schools ain’t what they used to be and never was.

Will Rogers
The time to save is now. When a dog gets a bone, he doesn’t go out and make a down payment on a bigger bone. He buries the one he’s got.

Will Rogers
The United States never lost a war or won a conference.

Will Rogers
The wine had such ill effects on Noah’s health that it was all he could do to live 950 years. Just nineteen years short of Methuselah. Show me a total abstainer that ever lived that long.

Will Rogers
The worst thing that happens to you may be the best thing for you if you don’t let it get the best of you.

Will Rogers
There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

Will Rogers
There are two theories to arguing with a woman. Neither works.

Will Rogers
There is good news from Washington today. Congress is deadlocked and can’t act.

Will Rogers
There is no more independence in politics than there is in jail.

Will Rogers
There is nothing so stupid as an educated man, if you get off the thing that he was educated in.

Will Rogers
There is one thing about Englishmen, they won’t fix anything till it’s just about totally ruined. You couldn’t get the English to fix anything at the start. No! They like to sit and watch it grow worse. Then, when it just looks like the whole thing has gone up Salt Creek, why, the English jump in and rescue it.

Will Rogers
There is only one thing that can kill the Movies, and that is education.

Will Rogers

There’s no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.

Will Rogers
This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer.

Will Rogers
This country has gotten where it is in spite of politics, not by the aid of it. That we have carried as much political bunk as we have and still survived shows we are a super nation.

Will Rogers
This would be a great time in the world for some man to come along that knew something.

Will Rogers
This would be a great world to dance in if we didn’t have to pay the fiddler.

Will Rogers
Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.

Will Rogers
We are all here for a spell, get all the good laughs you can.

Will Rogers
We are here just for a spell and then pass on. So get a few laughs and do the best you can. Live your life so that whenever you lose it, you are ahead.

Will Rogers
We are the first nation in the history of the world to go to the poor house in an automobile.

Will Rogers
We are the first nation to starve to death in a storehouse that’s overfilled with everything we want.

Will Rogers
We can make this thing into a Party, instead of a Memory.

Will Rogers
We can’t all be heroes because someone has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.

Will Rogers
We don’t know what we want, but we are ready to bite somebody to get it.

Will Rogers
We have the best Congress money can buy.

Will Rogers
We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others.

Will Rogers

Well, all I know is what I read in the papers.

Will Rogers
Well, Xmas spirit is over now. Everybody can get back to their natural dispositions.

Will Rogers

“Will Rogers Says”, The New York Times (25 December 1928)
What the country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds.

Will Rogers
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. And when you come to my grave you will find me sitting there, proudly reading it.

Will Rogers

comment at Tremont Temple Baptist Church, reported in the Boston Globe (16 June 1930)
When ignorance gets started it knows no bounds.

Will Rogers
When the Judgment Day comes civilization will have an alibi, “I never took a human life, I only sold the fellow the gun to take it with.”

Will Rogers
When you get into trouble 5,000 miles from home, you’ve got to have been looking for it.

Will Rogers
When you put down the good things you ought to have done, and leave out the bad ones you did do, well, that’s Memoirs.

Will Rogers
With Congress, every time they make a joke it’s a law. And every time they make a law it’s a joke.

Will Rogers
Worrying is like paying on a debt that may never come due.

Will Rogers
You can’t say that civilization don’t advance, however, for in every war they kill you in a new way.

Will Rogers
You know everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.

Will Rogers
You’ve got to be optimist to be a Democrat, and you’ve got to be a humorist to stay one.

Will Rogers
You’ve got to go out on a limb sometimes because that’s where the fruit is.

Will Rogers

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