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130+ Interesting, Thought-Provoking Will Rogers Quotes

Will Rogers quotes will really make you think. William Penn Adair Rogers was a famous actor, humorist, and political commentator. He was born on November 4th, 1879, in Cherokee Territory near present-day Claremont, Oklahoma. 

During his childhood, Rogers worked on a ranch, learning to ride horses and do rope tricks. Having this skillset brought him to the big screen, where he starred in various Wild West shows throughout his young adulthood. In 1905 he landed a performance showing off his rope tricks in Madison Square Garden. The great reviews he received from the show convinced him to stay in New York City, where he pursued a career on Broadway.

In 1912, he starred in his first Broadway performance, The Wall Street Girl. From there, he continued to perform, scoring roles in various plays and returning to the yearly production of Ziegfeld Follies for 9 years. Alongside his theater career, he was a political commentator that poked humor at politicians, government, and pioneered political one-liner jokes.

Moving forward from Broadway, Rogers progressed his career by starring in various silent films, radio programs, and self-produced comedies. In 1929, he starred in his first talking picture, They Had to See Paris, which made him a huge Hollywood hit. His most notable films were A Connecticut Yankee (1931) and State Fair (1933). In August 1935, during the peak of his career, Rogers died in a tragic plane crash near Point Barrow, Alaska. His wit and humorous commentary are still noted and remembered today. Find a sarcastic Will Rogers quote or some wise Rogers sayings below on anything from everyday life to politics and government.

Will Rogers Quotes
Melbourne Spurr

Will Rogers Quotes on Politics, Government, and War

“What the country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds.” – Will Rogers

“Anybody whose pleasure is watching somebody else die is about as little use to humanity as the person being electrocuted.” – Will Rogers

“Everybody nowadays is suggesting ways of getting prosperous on somebody else’s money.” – Will Rogers

“Politics is the only sporting event in the world where they don’t pay off for second money; a man to run second in any other event in the world it’s an honor. But any time he runs second for President, it’s not an honor. It’s a pity.” – Will Rogers

“The money we spend on government. And it’s not a bit better government than we got for one-thirds the money two years ago.” – Will Rogers

“It must be nice to belong to some legislative body and just pick money out of the air.” – Will Rogers

“Nations are just like individuals. Loan them money, and you lose their friendship.” – Will Rogers

“We elect our Presidents, be they Republican or Democrat, then start daring ’em to make good.” – Will Rogers

“It takes nerve to be a Democrat, but it takes money to be a Republican.” – Will Rogers

“I generally give the party in power, whether Republican or Democrat, the more digs because they are generally doing the country more damage. The party in power drawing a salary is to be knocked.” – Will Rogers

“No animal in the world gets quite as hungry as a Democrat. He would rather make a speech than a dollar.” – Will Rogers

“The more education he gets, the less apt he is to be a Democrat, and if he is very highly educated, he will see the apple sauce in both parties.” – Will Rogers

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

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

“You could keep politics clean if you could figure out some way, so your government never hired anyone.” – Will Rogers

“As bad as we sometimes think our government is run, it is the best run I ever saw.” – Will Rogers

“Politics ain’t worrying this country one-tenth as much as parking space.” – Will Rogers

“If you ever injected truth into politics, you have no politics.” – Will Rogers

“The biggest praise that a humorist can have is to get your stuff in The Congressional Record. Just think, my name will be right alongside all those other big humorists.” – Will Rogers

“The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has.” – Will Rogers

“In politics, practically everything you hear is a scandal, and besides, the funny thing is that the things they are whispering ain’t half as bad as the things they have been saying right out loud.” – Will Rogers

“Why don’t they pass a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting anybody from learning anything? If it works as good as Prohibition did, in five years, we will have the smartest race of people on earth.” – Will Rogers

“Ain’t it funny how many hundreds of thousands of soldiers we can recruit with nerve. But we can’t find one politician in a million with backbone.” – Will Rogers

“The short memories of American voters is what keeps our politicians in office.” – Will Rogers

“The trouble with practical jokes is that very often they get elected.” – Will Rogers

“History will record: “America, a nation that flourished from 1900 to 1942, conceived many odd inventions to getting somewhere, but could think of nothing to do when they got there.”” – Will Rogers

“Every nation must have its legalized form of gambling. We have our Wall Street.” – Will Rogers

“People talk peace, but men give their life’s work to war. It won’t stop ‘til there is as much brains and scientific study put to aid peace as there is to promote war.” – Will Rogers

“There has been war since the beginning of time, and we are no smarter than the people that have gone before us. There is apt to be some more war.” – Will Rogers

“America can carry herself and get along in pretty fair shape, but when she stops and picks up the whole world and puts it on her shoulders, she just can’t “get it done.”” – Will Rogers

“America is a land of opportunity, and don’t ever forget it.” – Will Rogers

“Two things that tickle the fancy of our citizens, one is let them act on a committee, and the other is to promise to let him walk in a parade. What America needs is more mileage out of our parades.” – Will Rogers

“Trouble with American transportation is that you can get somewhere quicker than you can think of a reason for going there. What we need now is a new excuse to go somewhere.” – Will Rogers

“One good thing about European nations: they can’t hate you so bad they wouldn’t use you.” – Will Rogers

“I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.” – Will Rogers

“There’s the one thing no nation can ever accuse us of, and that is secret diplomacy. Our foreign dealings are an open book. Generally a checkbook.” – 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

“Ohio claims they are due a president as they haven’t had one since Taft. Look at the United States; they have not had one since Lincoln.” – Will Rogers

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

“Congress is going to start tinkering with the Ten Commandments just as soon as they find someone in Washington who has read them.” – Will Rogers

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

“We always want the best man to win an election. Unfortunately, he never runs.” – Will Rogers

“One revolution is like one cocktail; it just gets you organized for the next.” – Will Rogers

“This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer. It’s just a question of how much damage he can do with it before we can take it away from him.” – Will Rogers

“If we ever pass out as a great nation we ought to put on our tombstone ‘America died from a delusion that she had moral leadership.'” – Will Rogers

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

“Our public men are speaking every day on something, but they ain’t saying anything.” – Will Rogers

“America is a great country, but you can’t live in it for nothing.” – Will Rogers

“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

“I guess truth can hurt you worse in an election than about anything that can happen to you.” – Will Rogers

“The taxpayers are sending congressmen on expensive trips abroad. It might be worth it, except they keep coming back.” – Will Rogers

“When I was a kid, I was told anyone could become President. Now I’m beginning to believe it.” – Will Rogers

“Let Wall Street have a nightmare, and the whole country has to help get them back in bed again.” – Will Rogers

“In the early days of the Indian Territory, there were no such things as birth certificates. You being there was certificate enough.” – Will Rogers

“If they wasn’t in Congress, why, they would be doing something else against us that might be even worse.” – Will Rogers

“The health of nations is more important than the wealth of nations.” – Will Rogers

“The way to judge a good comedy is by how long it will last and have people talk about it. Now Congress had turned out some that have lived for years, and people are still laughing about them.” – Will Rogers

“Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.”  – Will Rogers

“We don’t give our criminals much punishment, but we sure give ’em plenty of publicity.” – Will Rogers

“There ain’t nothing that breaks up homes, country, and nations like somebody publishing their memoirs.” – Will Rogers

“One of the evils of democracy is, you have to put up with the man you elect whether you want him or not.” – Will Rogers

“The nation is prosperous on the whole, but how much prosperity is there in a hole?” – Will Rogers

“For every nation and every individual, the principal worry is debt.” – Will Rogers

“If America ever passes out as a great nation, we ought to put on our tombstone: America died from a delusion she had Moral Leadership.” – Will Rogers

“A Congressman is never any better than his roads, and sometimes worse.” – Will Rogers

“Politicians can do more funny things naturally than I can think of to do purposely.” – Will Rogers

“And the thing about my jokes is, they don’t hurt anybody. You can take ’em or leave ’em – you can say they’re funny, or they’re terrible, or they’re good, or whatever, but you can just pass ’em by. But 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

“America has the best politicians money can buy.” – 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

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

“If pro is the opposite of con, what is the opposite of Congress?” “If stupidity got us in this mess, how come it can’t get us out.”  – Will Rogers

“A fool and his money are soon elected.”  – Will Rogers

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

“The more you observe politics, the more you’ve got to admit that each party is worse than the other.”  – Will Rogers

“There is no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.” – Will Rogers

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

“Government investigations have always contributed more to our amusement than they have to our knowledge.” – Will Rogers

“A Republican moves slowly. They are what we call conservatives. A conservative is a man who has plenty of money and doesn’t see any reason why he shouldn’t always have plenty of money. A Democrat is a fellow who never had any but doesn’t see any reason why he shouldn’t have some.” – Will Rogers

“There are men running governments who shouldn’t be allowed to play with matches.” – Will Rogers

“Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re actually paying for.” – Will Rogers

“Diplomacy is the art of saying ‘Nice doggie’ until you can find a rock.” – 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

Will Rogers Quotes About Life, Death, and Character

“Good judgment comes from experiences, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.” – Will Rogers

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

“I never met a man I didn’t like.” – Will Rogers

“Nothing makes a man broad-minded like adversity.” – Will Rogers

“Every man’s religion is good. There is none of it bad. We are all trying to arrive at the same place according to our own conscience and teachings. It don’t matter which road you take.” – Will Rogers

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

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

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

“No man can be condemned for owning a dog. As long as he’s got a dog, he’s got a friend, and the poorer he gets, the better friend he has.” – Will Rogers

“A man can fool you with his mind, and his Soul and his Heart, but if you follow his feet, you will pretty near find out where he is going.” – Will Rogers

“Never miss a good chance to shut up.” – Will Rogers

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

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

“Chaotic action is preferable to orderly inaction.” – Will Rogers

“I joke about prominent men, but at heart, I believe in ’em. I do think there is time when traces of “dumbness” crop up in official life but not crookedness.” – Will Rogers

“Live your life so that whenever you lose, you are ahead.” – 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

“Theories are great, they sound great, but the minute you are asked to prove one in actual life, why the thing blows up.” – 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

“Being a hero is about the shortest-lived profession on earth.” – Will Rogers

“A man in the country does his own thinking. Get him into town, and he will be thinking second-handed.” – Will Rogers

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

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

“The greatest loss of time is delay and expectation.” – Will Rogers

“In all your life, you will never find a method more effective in getting through to another person than to make that person feel important.” – Will Rogers

“Pain is such an uncomfortable feeling that even a tiny amount of it is enough to ruin every enjoyment.” – Will Rogers

“The main thing about being a hero is to know when to die.” – Will Rogers

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” – Will Rogers

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

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

“After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him… The moral: When you’re full of bull, keep your mouth shut.” – Will Rogers

“Work to make a living; serve to make a life.” – Will Rogers

“Everything is funny, as long as it’s happening to somebody else.” – Will Rogers

“When I die, I want to die like my grandfather, who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.” – Will Rogers

“If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.” – Will Rogers

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

“The more ignorant you are, the quicker you fight.” – Will Rogers

“More words ain’t good for anything in the world only to bring on more argument.” – Will Rogers

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

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

“Common sense ain’t common.”  – Will Rogers

“When you give a lesson in meanness to a critter or a person, don’t be surprised if they learn their lesson.” – Will Rogers

“All I know is just what I read in the papers, and that’s an alibi for my ignorance.” – Will Rogers

“If you want to be successful, it’s just this simple. Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing. And believe in what you are doing.” – Will Rogers

“Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.”  – Will Rogers

“It takes a lifetime to build a good reputation, but you can lose it in a minute.”  – Will Rogers

“If I could kick the person in the tail that causes me the most problems, I could not sit down for a week.” – Will Rogers

“Just because it’s common sense doesn’t mean it’s common practice.” – Will Rogers

Will Rogers Quotes About Business, Education, and Money

“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

“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

“Make crime pay. Become a lawyer.” – Will Rogers

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

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

“This Einstein has proven a great comfort to us that always knew we didn’t know much. He has shown us that the fellows that we thought was smart is just as dumb as we are.” – Will Rogers

“A man only learns by two things, one is reading, and the other is an association with smarter people.” – Will Rogers

“Don’t gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don’t go up, don’t buy it.” – Will Rogers

“The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it in your back pocket.” – Will Rogers

“People are getting smarter nowadays; they are letting lawyers, instead of their conscience, be their guide.” – Will Rogers

“We can get mighty rich, but if we haven’t got any friends, we will find we are poorer than anybody.” – Will Rogers

“Let advertisers spend the same amount of money improving their product that they do on advertising, and they wouldn’t have to advertise it.” – Will Rogers

“I can remember way back when a liberal was generous with his own money.” – Will Rogers

“Even when you make a tax form out on the level, you do not know when it is through if you are a crook or a martyr.” – Will Rogers

“The minute you read something that you can’t understand, you can almost be sure that it was drawn up by a lawyer.” – Will Rogers

“Borrowing money on what’s called ‘easy terms’ is a one-way ticket to the Poor House. If you think it ain’t a Sucker Game, why is your Banker the richest man in your Town? Why is your Bank the biggest and finest building in your Town?” – Will Rogers

“When I first started out to write and misspelled a few words, people said I was plain ignorant. But when I got all the words wrong, they declared I was a humorist.” – Will Rogers

“When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.” – Will Rogers

“Nothing is as stupid as an educated man if you get him off the thing he was educated on.” – Will Rogers

Will Rogers Quotes About Success

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

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

“We do more talking progress than we do progressing.” – Will Rogers

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

“Ability is all right, but if it is not backed up by honesty and public confidence, you will never be a successful person. The best a man can do is to arrive at the top in his chosen profession. I have always maintained that one profession is deserving of as much honor as another provided it is honorable.”  – Will Rogers

“Things will get better – despite our efforts to improve them.” – Will Rogers

“A vision, without a plan, is just a hallucination.” – Will Rogers

“There is one guaranteed formula for failure, and that is to try to please everyone.” – Will Rogers

“Why not go out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is.” – Will Rogers

“If you find the right job, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” – Will Rogers

Other Will Rogers Quotes

“There is nothing as easy as denouncing … It don’t take much to see that something is wrong, but it does take some eyesight to see what will put it right again.” – Will Rogers

“Eventually, you reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.” – Will Rogers

“I wonder if it isn’t just cowardice instead of generosity that makes us give tips.” – Will Rogers

“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

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

“Mona Lisa is the only beauty who went through history and retained her reputation.” – Will Rogers

“I never expected to see the day when girls would get sunburned in the places they now do.” – 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

“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

“If they really want to honor the boys, why don’t they let them sit in the stands and have the people march by?” – Will Rogers

“We changed with the times, so we can’t blame the children for just joining the times without even having to change.” – Will Rogers

“Successful colleges will start laying plans for a new stadium; unsuccessful ones will start hunting a new coach.” – Will Rogers

“Congressional investigations are for the benefit of photographers.” – Will Rogers

“Money, horse racing, and women, three things the boys just can’t figure out.” – Will Rogers

“Golf is a wonderful exercise. You can stand on your feet for hours, watching somebody else putt.” – Will Rogers

“A comedian can only last ’til he either takes himself serious or his audience takes him serious.” – Will Rogers

“Civilization has taught us to eat with a fork, but even now, if nobody is around, we use our fingers.” – Will Rogers

“Broad-minded is just another way of saying a fellow is too lazy to form an opinion.” – Will Rogers

“You never know how much a man can’t remember until he is called as a witness.” – Will Rogers

“I guess the only way to stop divorce is to stop marriage.” – Will Rogers

“A man that don’t love a horse, there is something the matter with him.” – Will Rogers

“I like to hear a man talk about himself because then I never hear anything, but good.” – Will Rogers

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

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

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

“If you feel the urge, don’t be afraid to go on a wild goose chase. What do you think wild geese are for anyway?” – Will Rogers

“The nation is prosperous on the whole, but how much prosperity is there in a hole?” – Will Rogers

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

“I know worrying works because none of the stuff I worried about ever happened.” – Will Rogers

“Sometimes people deserve a high five, in the face, with a chair.” – Will Rogers

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

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

“Golf is good for the soul. You get so mad at yourself you forget to hate your enemies.” – Will Rogers

“Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier ‘n puttin’ it back in.” – Will Rogers

More Quotes:

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Katee’s passion for writing and fascination for language has forever guided her path in life. Follow Katee on Instagram or read more articles from Katee on Thought Catalog.

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