WILL ROGERS (1879-1935) was the most widely read and influential newspaper columnist of his day. For the last nine years of his life his daily column “Will Rogers Says” was published in a record 500 newspapers. The humorous comments in the column helped ease the burden of readers during the worst part of the depression years. The political messages of his comments were heard by a high percentage of citizens and public officials. Through the column and personal appearances he crusaded for improvements in and public support of aviation. He was on a flight when a crash ended his life.