The Papers of Will Rogers
The Final Years, August 1928–August 1935
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
704 Pages | 6 x 9 | 21 b&w illus.
This fifth and final volume of The Papers of Will Rogers traces the career of Oklahoma’s beloved entertainer during his most popular years and extends beyond his death in 1935.
By 1928, the Oklahoma humorist and commentator had reached national prominence through his newspaper columns, silent films, sound recordings, books, philanthropic endeavors, and lecture tours. His fame, fortune, and influence, however, had yet to crest. This volume showcases a wide variety of documents, including correspondence with some of the most significant figures of the day, revealing Rogers’s rise to fame as the nation’s leading social and political commentator and as a hugely popular star of radio, stage, and film.
Rogers’s multifaceted career ended abruptly when he and the famous aviator Wylie Post died in an airplane crash in northernmost Alaska. This documentary history of his final years includes transcripts of radio broadcasts, contracts, and business documents, as well as nearly two hundred telegrams and letters to family, friends, and notable public figures—the majority of which have never before been published. It also covers the aftermath of his fatal airplane accident: the certificate of death, a first-person account of his funeral, settlement of his estate, efforts to pay tribute to his memory, and unauthorized attempts to capitalize on his fame.