He was named William Penn Adair Rogers, after the Cherokee leader. He was born on the Dog Iron Ranch in Indian Territory, in what is now called Oklahoma. His parents were both Cherokee, and Rogers was just over 1/4 Cherokee.
Rogers worked as a cowboy on the Dog Iron Ranch and other ranches and worked in Argentina as a New York City, Rogers was at Madison Square Garden when a wild steer broke out of the arena and began to climb into the viewing stands. Rogers quickly roped the steer to the delight of the crowd. The feat got front page attention from the newspapers, giving him valuable publicity and an audience eager to see more. William Hammerstein came to see his vaudeville act, and quickly signed Rogers to appear on the Victoria Roof—which was literally on a rooftop—with his pony. For the next decade, Rogers estimated he worked for fifty weeks a year at the Roof and at the city's myriad vaudeville theaters." Wikipedia