John (Morrison) Wayne
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Marion Robert Mitchell (Morrison) Wayne (1907 - 1979)

Marion Robert Mitchell (John) "The Duke" Wayne formerly Morrison
Born in Winterset, Madison County, Iowa, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 1933 (to 1945) [location unknown]
Husband of — married 17 Jan 1946 (to 1954) in Long Beach, California, United Statesmap
Husband of [private wife (1930s - unknown)]
Descendants descendants
Father of [private son (1930s - 2000s)], [private daughter (1930s - 2000s)], [private son (1930s - unknown)], [private daughter (1940s - unknown)], [private daughter (1950s - unknown)], [private son (1960s - unknown)] and [private daughter (1960s - unknown)]
Died at age 72 in UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 2 Nov 2012 | Last significant change: 23 May 2022
21:01: Abby (Brown) Glann edited the Biography for Marion Robert Mitchell (Morrison) Wayne (1907-1979). (Categorization. ) [Thank Abby for this]
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John (Morrison) Wayne is a part of Iowa history.
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John (Morrison) Wayne is Notable.
John (Morrison) Wayne was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

John Wayne is known for his natural swagger and portrayal of the American Western cowboy and the US soldier in movies, also later directing and producing.[1][2]


Marion Robert Morrison was born 26 May 1907 in Winterset, Iowa, to parents Clyde Leonard Morrison and Mary Alberta Brown.[3][4][5][2] An interesting tidbit about Marion's middle name is that his parents changed it to Mitchell upon deciding that they wanted to name their next son Robert.[citation needed]

The world knows Marion better as John Wayne, the famous actor, director and producer.[2] He started using the name upon the suggestion of the studio where he got his first big film role.[2] John also carried the nickname "The Duke" with him throughout his life, a nickname that stemmed from his childhood, given to him by a local fireman he passed every day on his way to school who called him "Little Duke" because he never went anywhere without his large Airedale Terrier named Duke.[2] John attended Glendale High School, and his football career there led to a scholarship to University of Southern California.[2]

On June 26th, 1933, John married college sweetheart Josephine A Saenz in Los Angeles.[6] Their children were Michael Anthony, Mary Antonia, and Patrick John.[7] He married two more times to Esperanzo Bauer and Pilar Palette, and had four more children, Melinda, Marissa, Aissa, and Ethan.[2]


John was young when his family moved from Winterset, Iowa to Los Angeles.[8][2] Later, after losing a football scholarship due to an injury from a body surfing accident, he was able to get odd jobs at local film studios.[2] John played small bits for awhile until his first leading role came in the 1930 movie The Big Trail.[2] From there John would go on to star in 142 films (he had participated in some form in over 200), primarily Westerns, though some of his most beloved films were The Quiet Man and True Grit, which he won an Oscar for in 1969.[2]

John was among the top box-office draws for three decades and was an Academy Award winner.[2] The actor was the epitome of rugged masculinity and easily distinguishable by his demeanor, his calm voice, his walk and his height (6 ft 4 inches).[2]

Death and Legacy

John Wayne died on 11 June 1979 after a battle with stomach cancer.[9][10][11] John had battled lung cancer earlier in life, as well.[2] He requested that his headstone read "Feo, Fuerte y Formal", a Spanish epitaph translated as "ugly, strong, and dignified".[citation needed] His headstone went unmarked for 20 years but now bears this quote from his controversial 1971 Playboy interview: "Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday." His grave overlooks the Pacific Ocean, where Wayne spent many weekends sailing and fishing.[12]

In June 1999, the American Film Institute named John Wayne the 13th Greatest Male Screen Legend of All Time.[13] Posthumously, he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.[2] John's legacy also lies in the work he did to influence the US support of the Panama Canal Treaties.[2] Most notably, John lives on in the John Wayne Cancer Foundation, created in 1985.[2]

Originally named Orange County Airport, the Orange County California Board of Supervisors renamed the airport in 1979 in honor of actor John Wayne, who lived in neighboring Newport Beach and died that year. A bronze statue of John Wayne was installed at the airline terminal in 1982.[14]


  1. Wikipedia: John Wayne
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 Official John Wayne website biography, accessed Mar 4 2021
  3. "Iowa, County Births, 1880-1935," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 11 Jun 2014), Marion Robert Morrison, 26 May 1907; citing , Winterset, Madison, Iowa, United States; FHL microfilm 1028195.
  4. "Iowa, Births and Christenings, 1830-1950," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 11 Jun 2014), Marion Robert Morrison, ; citing Winterset, Iowa; FHL microfilm 1682887.
  5. US Federal Census; Year: 1910; Census Place: Madison, Madison, Iowa; Roll: T624_412; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0031; FHL microfilm: 1374425. ( link)
  6. California, County Birth, Marriage, and Death Records, 1849-1980 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2017.
  7. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012. Year: 1940; Census Place: Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Roll: m-t0627-00400; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 60-265
  8. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Year: 1920; Census Place: Glendale, Los Angeles, California; Roll: T625_102; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 26
  9. California, Death Index, 1940-1997 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2000. ( link)
  10. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2014.Number: 561-01-2534; Issue State: California; Issue Date: Before 1951
  11. The Associated Press, "John Wayne Dead of Cancer on Coast at 72", The New York Times online, 12 June 1979. Accessed 17 May 2018
  12. Find A Grave, database and images ( ), memorial page for John Wayne (26 May 1907–11 Jun 1979), Find A Grave: Memorial #1079, citing Pacific View Memorial Park, Corona del Mar, Orange County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .
  13. AFI 100 Years ... 100 Stars (, The 50 Greatest American Screen Legends

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Hello Profile Managers!

We are featuring this profile in the Connection Finder this week. Between now and Wednesday is a good time to take a look at the sources and biography to see if there are updates and improvements that need made, especially those that will bring it up to WikiTree Style Guide standards. We know it's short notice, so don't fret too much. Just do what you can.



posted by Abby (Brown) Glann
his walk and his height (6 ft 4 inches but his shoe size was only 9 . On January 25, 1950 his boots, left fist and plain signature were set in an approximate 36" by 48" rectangle concrete slab in the forecourt of now overcrowed Hollywood slabs at Grauman's Chinese Theatre at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California. As of December 29, 2011 some of the more deterioated monuments of the earlier stars may be moved.

posted by Eddie Pike
Another source for his death record is: "California Death Index, 1940-1997," database, FamilySearch ( : 26 November 2014), John Wayne, 11 Jun 1979; Department of Public Health Services, Sacramento.
posted by Eddie Pike
The Fox studio heads recieved USC Football passes and would hire some of the team to work at Fox in exchange. J W started as a Prop Man.
posted by Eddie Pike
He married Josephine A Saenz at his friend and leading lady, Loretta Young's Home.
posted by Eddie Pike
He injured his shoulder at the beach.
posted by Eddie Pike
Ronald Reagan's thoughts on John Wayne. (Best Of Friends) President Reagan's Interview on John Wayne on September 12, 1988

posted by Eddie Pike
Barbara Strisand presented John Wayne with his only Oscar for best preformance by a male actor which was his only Oscar.

Rubbing a tear from his right eye John said that "if I'd known that I'da put that patch on 35 years earlier." His acceptance speech was short and humble.

posted by Eddie Pike
There is also a Web Site on O'Hara's testimony.

posted by Eddie Pike
John and Robert Fellows founded Batjac Studios in 1952. Two of their best movies were Hondo in 1953 and Big Jake although they weren't the highest grossing.

posted by Eddie Pike
Maureen Ohara' was and still is his most prolific supporter. She lobbeied Congress for The Congressional Gold Medal. There is video on (U-Tube)
posted by Eddie Pike