Orvon Gene Autry (born September 29, 1907 - died October 2, 1998) was a legendary recording and movie star whose career spanned
over 60 years in the entertainment industry. Sometimes called “The Singing Cowboy,” Autry was also a broadcast executive for
KTLA and owned the Major League baseball team, the Los Angeles Angels, among other business pursuits. Autry also co-founded
the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum, now known as The Autry National Center of the American West, with wife Jackie Autry
and Monte and Joanne Hale in 1988. The Gene Autry Personal Papers and Business Archives span from 1900 to 2002 and document
Autry’s personal and family life, including wives Ina Mae Spivey and Jackie Ellam; Autry’s military career during World War
II; entertainment career; other business holdings; and honors received. Materials include administrative records; advertising
material; awards; ephemera; correspondence; photographic material; posters; scrapbooks; and sheet music.
Orvon Gene Autry was born in Tioga, Texas on September 29, 1907. He worked at a train station, but was discovered for his
musical ability by humorist Will Rogers. In 1929, Autry was billed as "Oklahoma's Yodeling Cowboy" at KVOO in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
He gained a popular following, a recording contract with Columbia Records in 1929, and soon after, performed on the National
Barn Dance for radio station WLS in Chicago. Autry first appeared on screen in 1934 and popularized the musical Western up
to 1953, starring in 93 feature films. He also pursued and excelled at other business ventures such as real estate, oil drilling,
and ownership of the American League baseball team in California then called the Los Angeles Angels (currently known as the
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim).
446.0 Linear feet
(approximately 300 boxes)
This collection is on temporary loan to the Autry National Center. All rights and restrictions are held by the estate of Gene
Autry. Permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to Gene Autry Entertainment, 4383 Colfax
Avenue, Studio City, CA 91604.