Gene Autry, "America's #1 Singing Cowboy," was born in Tioga, Texas, in 1907. His preacher grandfather taught him to sing in the church choir at age five. Later, he arose before dawn to do chores before walking miles to school.
At 12, Autry paid $8 for his first guitar. Later, he became a telegraph operator. By chance, the famous Will Rogers heard him sing and suggested that Autry sing professionally, fostering a career that saw appearances in 94 films and 635 recorded songs, including "Back in the Saddle Again" and "Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer."
Autry was a long-time owner of the California Angels baseball team and served as vice president of the American League. He is the only entertainer to have five stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one each for radio, recording, motion pictures, television, and live performance.