Born Reuben Crowdus on April 17, 1865 in Bowling Green, Ky. He left home at age 12 to sing in minstrel shows. He became prominent as a songwriter in the 1890s. In 1895, he wrote "La Pas Ma La" & promoted it as first published ragtime song. Many regarded him as the "Father of Ragtime," a new genre of music, from which many other types of music developed.
A pioneer in black entertainment, he was one of the best-known and highest-paid performers of early ragtime era. He starred in major minstrels, vaudeville, and musical comedy. In 1898, Hogan had the starring role in the first black show to play in major Broadway theatre. He died on May 20, 1909 and is buried in the Mt. Moriah cemetery.