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Last surviving son of famed humorist dies

CLAREMORE, Okla. (AP) -- Jim Rogers, the last surviving son of cowboy humorist Will Rogers, died Friday after a bout with cancer, officials with the Will Rogers Memorial said.

Jim Rogers served as the family's representative on the official Will Rogers Memorial Commission of Oklahoma. He died at his home in Bakersfield, Calif.

"Jim Rogers was inspirational, kind, humorous and articulate just like his father," said Michelle Lafebvre-Carter, director of the Will Rogers Memorial Commission of Oklahoma.

"Jim Rogers referred to Will Rogers affectionately as `dad' in family matters and `WR' in reference to the icon."

Born July 25, 1915, in New York City, James Blake Rogers appeared in three of Will Rogers' feature films. He was a cinema
cowboy in three Hopalong Cassidy westerns, made Army training films with Rod Cameron, and co-starred with Noah Beery Jr. in "Dudes are Pretty People," "Calaboose," and "Prairie Chicken," all produced by Hal Roach Jr.

In the 1940s, Jim Rogers was editor-publisher of The Beverly Hills Citizen. He joined the Marine Corps in the latter period of World War II as a writer/correspondent.

He was married for nearly 50 years to Astrea Kemmler, who died in 1987. He married Judith Braun in 1995. The couple operated a riding stable in Bakersfield.

In addition to Judith Braun, Rogers is survived by sons James Rogers of Nashville, Tenn., and Charles Edward Rogers of Cave Creek, Ariz., and daughter, Astrea Elizabeth Rogers, of Chowchilla, Calif.

Rogers was the third child of Will and Betty Rogers. His father died in a plane crash near Point Barrow, Alaska, in 1935, and his mother died nine years later.

Jim Rogers' brother, Will Rogers Jr. died in 1993; his sister, Mary, died in 1989 and his brother, Fred, died in 1920.

Jim Rogers will be interred in the family tomb on the Will Rogers museum grounds in Claremore.

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