Will Rogers Joked About Every Prominent Man Of His Time He Didn’t Like And Other Quotes

Last Updated December 15th, 2017

The title of this blog post is adapted from one of Will Rogers remarks when he was asked to say a few words after the sermon by minister Dr. James W. Brougher at Tremont Temple Baptist Church in Boston, Mass back in 1930.

The quote was “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.”

(The Will Rogers Book By Will Rogers, Compiled And Edited By Paula McSpadden Love, Bobbs-Merrill, 1961; P.167)

I have always love Will Rogers witty quips on life, human nature, politics and wisdom.

Will Rogers Joked About Every Prominent Man Of His Time

This internationally-known American cowboy, actor, comedian and social commentator had been entertaining folks with his movies, syndicated newspaper column and his radio appearances back in the 20s and 30s.

Will Rogers Joked About Every Prominent Man Of His Time William Penn Adair Rogers or aka  Will Rogers was famous for his use of language.

He utilized the latest slang and coming up with new words to fit his needs.

Mr Roger also made  use of puns and terms which closely linked him to the cowboy tradition, as well as speech patterns using a southern dialect.

Will Rogers’ political commentaries, quotes about life and witty sayings are still relevant till today.

He was tragically killed in a plane crash in 1935 at the age of 55.

One of Will Rogers’ popular political lines is usually quoted as: “I am not a member of an organized political party. I am a Democrat.”

But actually, that funny remark is not the exact quotation as published in Telegraph-Herald and Times-Journal back in 1930.

Back in October 1930, Will Rogers was having dinner with Mayor James Rolph, Jr.  of San Francisco.

This was what Rogers said:

“The mayor has been in charge of San Francisco so long they call him ‘Junior.’ He’s succeeded himself. The governor is a republican, but I am a member of no political organization. I am a democrat.” (see image below)

(Will Rogers Dishes Up Some Wisecracks, Telegraph-Herald and Times-Journal, October 3, 1930; P.1)

Will Rogers political quotation

So, the correct quotation should be: “…I am a member of no political organization. I am a democrat.” – Will Rogers

Another one of his popular opening line: Well, all I know is just what I read in the papers is from his syndicated weekly newspaper column in The New York Times.

Anyway, now let’s check out some of Will Rogers hilarious quotations with citations that are linked to sources, where you can actually see the quotes.

Note: I don’t merely cite or mention the source of each quote. I even linked them all to their proper sources.

This is to ascertain that all the quotes by Will Rogers published here are authentic.


“You must judge a man’s greatness by how much he will be missed.” – Will Rogers

(Will Rogers’ Weekly Articles Vol.2: The Coolidge Years, 1925-1927,  Edited By James Smallwood, Steven K. Gragert, Oklahoma State University Press, 1981, Bryan May Have Missed White House But Found Plain People, August 9, 1925; P.65)

(This quote is also found in: The Will Rogers Book By Paula McSpadden Love, Texian Press, 1972; P.166)


“…everything is funny as long as it is happening to someone else.” – Will Rogers

(The Illiterate Digest By Will Rogers, A. & C. Boni, 1924, Warning to Jokers: Lay off the Prince; P. C-131)


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

(The Illiterate Digest By Will Rogers, A. & C. Boni, 1924, “The World Tomorrow” After the Manner of Great Journalists)


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

(Sanity Is Where You Find It: An Affectionate History Of The United States In The 20’s And 30’s By Will Rogers, Houghton Mifflin, 1955; P.37)

(This quote is also found in: Will Roger’s Daily Articles Vol.2: The Coolidge Years 1925-1927, Edited By James M. Smallwood, Steven K. Gragert, Oklahoma State University Press, 1978, 119 Pay The Solons According To Ability And Save Money, March 22, 1925 ; P.6)


 “Grammar and I get along like a Russian and a BathTub.” – Will Rogers

(ROGERS-ISMS: The Cowboy Philosopher on The Peace Conference By Will Rogers, Harper & Brothers, 1919, Alibi)

(This quote is also found in: Will Rogers at the Ziegfeld Follies By Will Rogers, Edited By Arthur Frank Wertheim, University of Oklahoma Press, 1992, Timely Topics, Alibi; P.93)


“Be a Politician—no training necessary.” – Will Rogers

(The Will Rogers Book By Will Rogers, Compiled And Edited By Paula McSpadden Love, Bobbs-Merrill, 1961, Politicians, P. 50)

(This quote is also found in: Will Rogers’ Weekly Articles: The Coolidge Years, 1925-1927, Vol.2, Edited By James Smallwood, Steven K. Gragert, Oklahoma State University Press, 1981, Slogans All Right For All Persons Who Like The Bunk, April 12, 1925; P.15)


“…everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects.” – Will Rogers

(Will Roger’s Daily Articles Vol.1: The Harding/Coolidge Years 1922-1925, Edited By James M. Smallwood, Steven K. Gragert, Oklahoma State University Press, 1978, 90 From Nuts To The Soup, A Critic Of Etiquette, August 31, 1924; P.264)


“…No man is great if he thinks he is.” – Will Rogers

(Will Rogers’ Daily Telegrams Vol.1 The Coolidge Years 1926-1929, Edited By James M. Smallwood, Steven K. Gragert, Oklahoma State University Press, 1978, 810 Will Rogers Says Good-Bye To President And Mrs. Coolidge, March 1, 1928; P.291)

(This quote is also found in: The Autobiography Of Will Rogers, Edited By Donald Day, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1949; P. 200)


“You know the more you read and observe about this Politics thing, you got to admit that each party is worse than the other.” – Will Rogers

(Will Rogers’ Weekly Articles: The Harding, Edited By James Smallwood, Steven K. Gragert, Oklahoma State University Press, 1980, Settling The Affairs Of The World As They Should Be, December 31, 1922; P.5)

(This quote is also found in: The Illiterate Digest By Will Rogers, Oklahoma State University Press, 1974, Breaking Into The Writing Game; P.11)


“…Rumor travels faster, but it don’t stay put as long as truth.” – Will Rogers

(The Illiterate Digest By Will Rogers, A. & C. Boni, 1924, Politics Getting Ready to Jell; P.C-265)


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

(The Writings of Will Rogers By Will Rogers, Contributed By Oklahoma State University, Will Rogers Memorial Commission, Oklahoma State University Press, 1982; P.120)


“It’s news if you can anything out of the government, but if the government gets anything out of you, that’s ain’t news, that’s just a habit.” – Will Rogers

(Daily Telegrams Volume 4: The Roosevelt Years 1933-1935 By Will Rogers, Edited By James M. Smallwood, Steven K. Gragert, Oklahoma State University Press, 1979, 2076: Will Rogers Sees The Need For More Forested Area, March 30, 1933; P.10)


“People often ask me, “Will, where do you get your jokes?” I just tell ’em, “Well, I watch the Government and report the facts, that is all I do, and I don’t even find it necessary to exaggerate.” – Will Rogers

(Will Rogers’ World: America’s Foremost Political Humorist Comments On The ’20s And ’30s – and ’80s and ’90s By Will Rogers, Bryan B. Sterling, Frances N. Sterling, Rowman & Littlefield, 1993, Government; P.91)


“Every man gets an opportunity once in a lifetime.” – Will Rogers

(Will Rogers’ Daily Telegrams Vol.4 The Roosevelt Years 1933-1935, Edited By James M. Smallwood, Steven K. Gragert, Oklahoma State University Press, 1979, 2077, Mr. rogers Is Surprised Again By Our Versatile President, March 31, 1933; P.11)


“It’s great to be great, but its greater to be human.” – Will Rogers

(Will Rogers’ Daily Telegrams Vol.2: The Hoover Years 1929-1931, Edited By James M. Smallwood, Steven K. Gragert, Oklahoma State University Press, 1978, 1122, Will Rogers’s Tribute To Taft:Seems’Like He Was One Of Us’, February 28, 1930; P.126)


“Once a man holds a public office he is absolutely no good for honest work.” – Will Rogers

(The Will Rogers book By Paula McSpadden Love, Texian Press, 1972; P.43)


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

(The Writings of Will Rogers, Contributed By Oklahoma State University, Will Rogers Memorial Commission, Oklahoma State University Press, 1979; P.162)


“A diplomat is one that says something that is equally misunderstood by both sides, and never clear to either.” – Will Rogers

(Sanity Is Where You Find It: An Affectionate History Of The United States In The 20’s and 30’s By Will Rogers, Edited By Donald Day, Houghton Mifflin, 1955; P.105)


“Every time there is a big conference, they always have a war to go with it.” – Will Rogers

(Reno Gazette from Reno, Nevada, Thursday, December 14, 1933; P.4)


“When I first started out to write and misspelled a few words, people said I was Just plain ignorant. But when I got all the words wrong they accused, me of bein’ a comedian and said I was Quaint.” – Will Rogers

(The Daily Chronicle from De Kalb, Illinois, Thursday, August 22, 1935; P.3)


“…a gag, to be any good, has to be fashioned about some truth (…)The rest you get by your slant on it, and perhaps by a wee bit of exaggeration, so’s the people (…) won’t miss the point.” – Will Rogers

(The Brooklyn Daily Eagle from Brooklyn, New York, Saturday, August 17, 1935; P.11)


“The crime of taxation is not in the taking it, it’s in the way that it’s spent.” – Will Rogers

(The Writings of Will Rogers, Contributed By Oklahoma State University, Will Rogers Memorial Commission, Oklahoma State University Press, 1979; P.144)


“People’s minds are changed through observation and not through argument.” – Will Rogers

(The Writings of Will Rogers, Contributed By Oklahoma State University, Will Rogers Memorial Commission, Oklahoma State University Press, 1979; P.143)

(This quote is also found in: Will Rogers’ Daily Telegrams Vol.3: The Hoover Years 1931-1933, Edited By James M. Smallwood, Steven K. Gragert, Oklahoma State University Press, 1979, 1761, Mr Rogers Desires To Dodge Any Argument On Prohibition, March 16, 1932; P.129)


“I have always noticed that people will never laugh at anything that is not based on truth.” – Will Rogers

(Will Rogers’ Weekly Articles: The Harding Edited By James Smallwood, Steven K. Gragert, Oklahoma State University Press, 1980, Well, We’ve Been Keeping Kool With Koolidge, November 30, 1924; P.327)

(This quote is also found in: Will Rogers at the Ziegfeld Follies By Will Rogers, Edited By Arthur Frank Wertheim, University of Oklahoma Press, 1992, Horseplay; P.61)


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

(The Illiterate Digest By Will Rogers, A. & C. Boni, 1924, Helping the Girls with their Income Taxes; P. C-20)

(This quote is also found in: Settling The Affairs Of The World As They Should Be By Will Rogers, Weekly Articles, December 31, 1922)


Here are two sites where you can find the writings of Will Rogers:

Will Rogers Memorial Museum

Peregrinating Graybeard