John Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison on May 26, 1907 in Winterset, Iowa. His middle name was soon change afterwards to Michael because his parents decided to name their next son Robert.
John Wayne's father, Clyde Leonard Morrison, was of Irish, Scot-Irish, and English decent. Clyde is the son of American Civil War Veteran, Marion Mitchell Morrison (1845-1915).
John Wayne's mother, Mary Alberta Brown, was from Lancaster, Nebraska.
John Wayne's family moved to Palmsdale, California. In 1911, they moved to Glendale, California.
It was at this time John got this nick name, Duke. On his way to school, he past a firestation. One of the fireman started to call him 'Little Duke' because John never went anywhere without his Airedale Terrier dog named Duke. John preferred the name 'Duke' to 'Marion' so the name Duke stuck with him for the rest of his life.
As a teen, John worked in an ice cream shop for a man, who shod horses for Hollywood studios. He was also an active member of a youth organization associated with the freemasons called the 'Order of De Molay'. John went to Wilson Middle School, played football for Glendale High School. He applied at the U.S. Naval Academy but wasn't accepted. Instead John attended the University of Southern California. He majored in pre-law. He was a member of the Trojan Knight, Sigma Chi fraternities, and the USC football team.
John sustained an injury bodysurfing at the 'Wedge' at the tip of Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach. The injury caused him to loose his athletic scholarship. Without the funds, he had to leave the university.
The silent western star, Tom Mix, had gotten John a summer job in the prop department in exchange for football tickets. Later, John moved on to little parts in films, leading him into a friendship with John Ford. John Ford provided most of Wayne's roles. John appeared in 'Brown Of Harvard' (1926), 'The Dropkick' (1927), 'Salute' (1929), and 'Maker Of Men' (1931).
I put this section here for people who came from the tribute page I have up on my main website, "Midnight Angel's Place". Home will take you back to the tribute page of John Wayne on my main website. The other links will take you to the other segments about John Wayne.
Winds Of The Wasteland-This is a movie John Wayne starred in.