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Gene Autry Photograph

Identifier: 1982-023

Scope and Contents

This collection contains one portrait publicity photograph of Gene Autry for Republic Pictures. The edges are badly damaged with tears.


  • Creation: 1942


Conditions Governing Access

The Gene Autry Photograph has no restrictions and is available for research. If you are interested in researching the materials, please contact the Dickinson Research Center to make an appointment.

Conditions Governing Use

The Gene Autry Photograph is the property of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Materials, even if owned by the NCWHM, may be protected under third party copyright. It is the patron’s responsibility to research and secure any such additional copyright and pay any required fees or royalties. It is not the intention of the NCWHM to impede upon any third party rights, and the NCWHM cannot be held responsible if the patron is involved in legal action due to violation of third party copyright claims.

Biographical / Historical

Orvon Grover "Gene" Autry was an American performer who gained fame as “The Singing Cowboy” on the radio, in movies, and on television for more than three decades beginning in the 1930s.

Autry, the grandson of a Methodist preacher, was born near Tioga, Texas, on September 29, 1907. His parents, Delbert Autry and Elnora Ozment, moved to Ravia, Oklahoma in the 1920s. After leaving high school in 1925, Autry worked as a telegraphist for the St. Louis & San Francisco Railway. Talent with the guitar and his voice led to performing at local dances. After an encouraging chance encounter with Will Rogers, he began performing on local radio in 1928 as “Oklahoma’s Yodeling Cowboy.”

Autry signed a recording deal with Columbia Records in 1929. His first hit was in 1932 with “That Silver-Haired Daddy Of Mine,” a duet with fellow railroad man, Jimmy Long. Autry made 640 recordings, including more than 300 songs written or co-written by him. His records sold more than 100 million copies and he earned more than a dozen gold and platinum records, including the first record ever certified gold.

Discovered by film producer Nat Levine in 1934, Autry made his film debut for Mascot Pictures Corp. in "In Old Santa Fe" as part of a singing cowboy quartet. In 1935, he was given the starring role in the 12-part serial "The Phantom Empire." After Mascot was absorbed by Republic Pictures Corporation, Autry went along to make a further 44 films up to 1940, all B Westerns in which he played under his own name, rode his horse Champion, had Burnette as his regular sidekick, and had many opportunities to sing in each film.

Autry retired from show business in 1964. After retiring, he invested widely in real estate, radio, and television, including the purchase from the dying Republic Pictures the rights for films he had made for the company. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1969 and to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970. Autry was also inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in 1972.

Gene Autry died of lymphoma at age 91 on October 2, 1998 at his home in Studio City, California and is interred in the Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.


0.08 Linear Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection consists of one publicity photograph of Gene Autry.

Processing Information

The Gene Autry Photograph was donated to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in 1982.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the NCWHM Special Collections at Dickinson Research Center Repository

1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City Oklahoma 73111 United States