Born in 1964, Joe Rogers grew up in Commerce, Colorado, and graduated from Adams City High School.
Rogers worked his way through Colorado State University, majoring in Business Administration, and went on to Arizona State University where he studied law. While at Arizona State, Rogers led the school to its first national championship by winning the American Bar Association Negotiation Competition, a contest involving 80 U.S. law schools.
After earning his law degree, Rogers helped provide free legal services for the poor in rural southeast Colorado as part of the Colorado Bar Association's Lend-A-Lawyer Program. Born into a family that spent eight years on welfare, Rogers went on to practice law with Davis, Graham & Stubbs, one of Colorado's top firms. He served as staff counsel for Colorado's U. S. Senator, Hank Brown, and advised on a wide range of issues related to business including telecommunications, transportation and housing. Later, in private practice, he served as general counsel to the Denver Parents Association, a conservative non-profit public policy group advocating school vouchers. On their behalf, Rogers filed a lawsuit against the Denver Board of Education.
In 1996, Rogers ran for Colorado's First Congressional District seat vacated by retiring Congresswoman Pat Schroeder (D-CO). Rogers, a black Republican, surprised skeptics by garnering 42 percent of the vote, including 50 percent of the black vote. Encouraged, Rogers broadened his appeal and ran for Lieutenant Governor in 1998. Colorado's population is overwhelmingly white-only 4 to 5 percent is African American and 13 percent is Hispanic. Rogers and gubernatorial running mate Bill Owens won by a nearly 60 percent - 40 percent margin. In 1999, Joseph B. "Joe" Rogers was sworn in as the youngest Lt. Governor in Colorado history.
Rogers served as chairman of the newly formed National Conference of Lieutenant Governors. He was a principal speaker at the 2000 GOP National Convention.
He passed away on October 7, 2013, at the age of 49.
Joe Rogers was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 17, 2002.