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About this Famous Person

Roy ROGERS

American Roy ROGERS

born Leonard Franklin SLYE

American singer and cowboy actor

Source :  Tim DOWLING

Born: on November 05, 1911 in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Died: on July 06, 1998 in Apple Valley, California, USA


Biography

Leonard Franklin Slye was born to Andrew ("Andy") and Mattie (Womack) Slye in Cincinnati, Ohio, where his family lived in a tenement building on 2nd Street. (Riverfront Stadium was constructed at this location in 1970 and Leonard would later joke that he had been born at second base.) Dissatisfied with his job and city life, Andy Slye and his brother Will built a 12-by-50-foot houseboat from salvage lumber, and, in July 1912, the Slye family floated on the Ohio River towards Portsmouth, Ohio. Desiring a more stable existence in Portsmouth, the Slyes purchased land on which to build a home, but the flood of 1913 allowed them to move the houseboat to their property and continue living in it on dry land.

In 1919, the Slyes purchased a farm in Duck Run, located near Lucasville, Ohio about 12 miles north of Portsmouth. There they built a six-room home. Leonard's father soon realized that the farm alone would provide insufficient income for his family, so he took a job at a shoe factory in Portsmouth. He lived there during the week and returned home on the weekends, bearing gifts for the family following paydays. One notable gift was a horse on which Leonard learned the basics of horsemanship.

After completing the eighth grade, Leonard attended high school in McDermott, Ohio. When he was 17, his family returned to Cincinnati, where his father began work at another shoe factory. He soon decided on the necessity to help his family financially, so he quit high school, joined his father at the shoe factory, and began attending night school. After being ridiculed for falling asleep in class, however, he quit school and never returned.

Leonard and his father felt imprisoned by their factory jobs. In 1929, his older sister, Mary, moved to Lawndale, California with her husband. Father and son decided to quit their shoe factory jobs. The family packed their 1923 Dodge for a visit with Mary and stayed four months before returning to Ohio. Almost immediately afterward, Leonard had the opportunity to travel to California with Mary's father-in-law, and the rest of the family followed in the spring of 1930.

The Slyes rented a small house near Mary. Leonard and his father immediately found employment as truck drivers for a highway construction project. They reported to work one morning, however, to learn their employer had gone bankrupt. The economic hardship of the Great Depression had followed them west, and the Slyes soon found themselves among the economic refugees traveling from job to job picking fruit and living in worker campsites. (He would later read John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath and marvel at its accuracy.) One day, Andy Slye was told of a shoe factory hiring in Los Angeles and asked Leonard to join him in applying there for work. Leonard, having seen the joy that his guitar and singing had brought to the destitute around the campfires, hesitantly told his father that he was going to pursue a living in music. With his father's blessing, he and cousin Stanley Slye went to Los Angeles and sought musical engagements as The Slye Brothers.

In 1932, Leonard, now known as "Len," met Lucille Ascolese while on tour. That same year, a palomino colt was foaled in Santa Cietro, CA, named "Golden Cloud", and later renamed "Trigger" in 1938 after he was acquired by Roy. In May 1933, Len, 21, proposed to Lucille, 19, via a radio broadcast. Len then went on tour with the "O-Bar-O Cowboys" and in June 1933 met Grace Arline Wilkins at a Roswell, New Mexico radio station. She traded Len a lemon pie for his singing "Swiss Yodel" over the air. By August 1934, Len and Lucille had separated as she was reportedly jealous and tired of being a musician's wife. Len and Lucille's divorce was granted on May 28, 1935, and became final on June 8, 1936. Having corresponded since their first meeting, Len and Grace Arline Wilkins were married in Roswell, New Mexico, on June 11, 1936.

In 1941, the couple adopted a girl, Cheryl Darlene. Two years later, Arline bore a daughter, Linda Lou.

Rogers and Arline had a son, Roy Jr. ("Dusty") in 1946, but Arline died of complications from the birth a few days afterward on November 3. Rogers had met Dale Evans in 1944 when she was cast in a movie with Rogers. Following Arline's death, Rogers and Evans soon fell in love, and Rogers proposed to her during a rodeo at Chicago Stadium. They married on New Year's Eve in 1947 at the Flying L Ranch in Davis, Oklahoma, where a few months earlier they had filmed Home in Oklahoma. Rogers and Evans remained married until Rogers's death in 1998.

Source :  © Copyright Wikipédia authors - This article is under licence CC BY-SA 3.0 .

See Also :

- Category Actor, Singer & Musician