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 Gene Autry

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Gene Autry

Actor, Singer. Major League Baseball Team Owner. Known by many as "The Singing Cowboy," he is best remembered for his songs "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer," and his theme song, "Back in the Saddle Again" (1941). Born Orvon Gene Autry near Tioga, Texas, he worked as a laborer for the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad in Oklahoma after graduating from high school. According to Hollywood lore, he was discovered by Will Rogers, singing for his own amusement in a telegraph office in Oklahoma, and Rogers suggested he go to Hollywood. In 1928, he began singing for a local radio station, and within three years had his own radio show and was making records. His first film was "In Old Santa Fe" (1934), and the following year, he was in a movie serial, "The Phantom Empire" (1935), following which he signed a contract with Republic Pictures. His films in the 1930s and 1940s literally defined the B-Western film, despite cars, airplanes and other modern devices in them. During World War II, he served as an officer in the Army Air Corps with the Air Transport Command, learning how to fly. Leaving military service in 1946, he returned to making movies, and during the 1950s, had his own television show, "The Gene Autry Show." He wrote over 200 songs, including his theme song, "Back in the Saddle Again." A shrewd businessman, Autry invested wisely and retired from show business in the late 1950s, a self-made millionaire. His gasoline company, Flying A, takes its name from his interest in flying and the letter of his last name, Autry. In 1983, he bought the California Angels baseball team. In the late 1980s, he built a museum to showcase his personal collection of authentic western memorabilia. He published his autobiography, "Back in the Saddle Again," in 1978. He has five stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for Recording, Movies, Television, Radio, and Live Theater. He died of cancer in Los Angeles, California in 1998. He once stated, "I'm not a good actor, a good rider, or a particularly good singer, but they seem to like what I do, so I'll keep on doing it as long as they want."

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson


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AMERICA'S FAVORITE COWBOY

AMERICAN HERO
PHILANTHROPIST
PATRIOT AND VETERAN
MOVIE STAR
SINGER
COMPOSER
BASEBALL FAN AND OWNER
33RD DEGREE MASON
MEDIA ENTREPRENEUR
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"A BELIEVER IN OUR WESTERN HERITAGE"


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 28 Oct 1998
  • Find A Grave Memorial 3739
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Gene Autry (29 Sep 1907–2 Oct 1998), Find A Grave Memorial no. 3739, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .