|Full Name||Leonard Franklin Slye|
|Born||November 5, 1911 in Cincinnati, Ohio|
|Died||July 6, 1998 in Apple Valley, California|
|Spouse||Dale Evans (m. 1947-1998)|
|Net Worth||$150 million|
|Social Media||[Facebook](https://www.facebook.com/royrogers) – [Twitter](https://twitter.com/royrogers) – [Instagram](https://www.instagram.com/royrogers)|
As a longtime fan, I‘m excited to provide an in-depth introduction to the legendary Roy Rogers, the iconic "King of the Cowboys."
Early Life and Musical Interests
Roy Rogers was born Leonard Slye on November 5, 1911 in Cincinnati, Ohio. From a young age, Rogers was drawn to music and adventure. He learned to play the guitar and yodel as a child. At just 18 years old, he dropped out of high school and started playing music professionally.
In the early 1930s, Leonard and his musical cousin Stan Slye moved to California. They formed a country-western singing group called the Slye Brothers which later became The Sons of the Pioneers. As a guitarist and yodeler for the group, Leonard appeared in several Western movies with the Sons of the Pioneers providing musical accompaniment.
Rise to Fame in Hollywood Westerns
In 1938, Leonard Slye landed his first starring role as the lead actor in the Republic Pictures film Under Western Stars, using the stage name Dick Weston. The following year, Republic Pictures changed his name to Roy Rogers and cast him in a series of low-budget Western films alongside co-star Mary Hart.
Rogers‘ big break came in 1943 when Republic Pictures added the golden palomino stallion Trigger to his films. Rogers and his clever horse Trigger became emblems of the idealized American West. From 1943 to 1954, they appeared together in around 50 motion pictures and captivated audiences as symbols of frontier justice and moral clarity.
Becoming the "King of the Cowboys"
In addition to his on-screen acting skills, Roy Rogers became known as a talented singer. His song "Don‘t Fence Me In" sold over a million copies in 1944. He recorded numerous popular albums of Western and country tunes like "Tumbling Tumbleweeds."
With his wholesome good looks, charisma, singing and equestrian skills, Roy Rogers soon earned the title of "King of the Cowboys." He was one of the most recognized stars of the 1940s and 1950s. Rogers always portrayed the quintessential good guy who fought for law and order in the Wild West.
Radio, Television and Business Pursuits
The Roy Rogers Show aired on radio from 1944 to 1955. Rogers then starred in his own television series The Roy Rogers Show from 1951 to 1957 alongside his wife Dale Evans, his golden palomino Trigger, and his German Shepherd dog Bullet. This wholesome Western series further cemented Rogers‘ reputation.
Rogers was an early pioneer of movie-star merchandising. He licensed a huge range of Western-themed toys, books and other items featuring his name and likeness. The Roy Rogers brand was massively popular with children in the 1950s.
Even after his TV show ended, Rogers stayed busy with public appearances, charity work and new business ventures. He and Evans opened the successful Roy Rogers Family Restaurants fried chicken chain in the late 1960s.
Last Years and Legacy
Roy Rogers continued performing at festivals and fairs well into the 1980s. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988. After Dale Evans passed away in 2001, Rogers‘ health declined. He died at age 86 on July 6, 1998 at his home in California.
With his upstanding hero persona, Rogers left an indelible mark on American culture. He embodied the classic Western values of honesty, courage and good character. The Roy Rogers Museum and Restaurant still celebrate his iconic status today as the eternal "King of the Cowboys."