Gene Autry was born on September 29, 1907 in Tioga, Texas. His father was Delbert Autry, a Baptist preacher, and his mother was a homemaker. He learned to sing when he was 5 years old.Continue Reading
Gene Autry's mother died when he was 4. It was then that his father moved him from Texas to Oklahoma and Gene began singing in the church. He got his first job when he was 16, working at a railway station. As he grew, he continued playing guitar and singing when he could, and his life changed forever when he unknowingly played for music legend Will Rogers, who told him he was good enough to find work on the radio.
In 1932, Autry married Ina May Spivey, who was the niece of Jimmy Long. They were married until she died in 1980 and after that, Autry went on to marry his banker, Jacqueline Ellam in 1981. Autry never had any children.
Gene Autry began his career in 1927 when he took his first radio job in Oklahoma. At the time, he was Oklahoma's Yodeling Cowboy and made his first record the following year. He continued making music until World War II, when he enlisted in the army and became a pilot. In 1950, he made the move from radio to television and retired in 1964 to spend time on real estate ventures. Gene Autry passed away in 1998 at the age of 91.Learn more about Art & Literature