The Cherokee Kid: Will Rogers, Tribal Identity, and the Making of an American Icon - Amy M. Ware
Will Rogers would joke that his ancestors didn’t come to America on the Mayflower but they “met the boat,” a wry reference to his family heritage. The most famous cowboy of the early 20th century was more than a quarter Cherokee, also making him the most famous American Indian of his time even if most in his vast audience didn’t know it.
On what would be his 136th birthday – Rogers was born in Indian Territory near present-day Oologah, Oklahoma, on November 4, 1879 – author Amy Ware of the University of Texas examines his roots and upbringing and their impact on his life and career. Rogers made much of his Native American background. In doing so, he made Cherokee artistry a fundamental part of American popular culture.