While preparing this biography of Will Rogers, I became acquainted with Will Rogers Jr. My research process was an enjoyable experience, but it was marred by Will Jr.'s death, by his own hand, in 1993. He had informed me several times that he was not in good health, but when I heard the news of his suicide, I was still not prepared for his making such a choice. In addition to being very forthcoming about his father, Will Jr. sent me his own videocassette of The Ropin' Fool, an early silent movie made by Will.
A number of other people made significant contributions to this book, offering their memories, insights, and advice. Jim Rogers, Will Jr.'s younger brother, a former pole-vaulter from Pomona College in California, was especially helpful, always talking candidly about his father. Will's coworkers in the entertainment industry, including Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Lew Ayres, Shirley Temple Black, Maureen O'Sullivan, Mickey Rooney, and Morey Amsterdam were gracious and forthcoming when I approached them for information.
Jonathan Alexander Dunn provided me with his master's thesis on Will's ranch, originally written in 1986 for the faculty of the Graduate School of the