Today we step back in time to saying goodbye to one of, if not the, greatest of all cowboys. On June 11, 1979, Marion Robert Morrison died after battling cancer for over a decade. Who? Marion Morrison? Never heard of him. Sure you have. You just only knew him by his stage name, John Wayne.
Most published sources refer to Wayne's birth name as Marion Michael Morrison. His birth certificate, however, gives his original name as Marion Robert Morrison. According to Wayne's own statements, after the birth of his younger brother in 1911, his parents named the newborn Robert Emmett and changed Wayne's name from Marion Robert to Marion Michael. It has also been suggested by several of his biographers that Wayne's parents actually changed his birth name from Marion Robert to Marion Mitchell. In "Duke: The Life and Times of John Wayne" (1985), Donald Shepherd and Robert F. Slatzer state that when Wayne's younger brother was born, "the Duke's middle name was changed from Robert to Mitchell. . . . After he gained celebrity, Duke deliberately confused biographers and others by claiming Michael as his middle name, a claim that had no basis in fact."From Western Star to Action Hero to American Icon! That is the legacy of John Wayne, aka The Duke. Wayne possessed a unique American screen persona and loved his country, America, as much if not more than anyone possibly could! Behind the man is a great legend...a legend laced with true grit!
Source: John Wayne Trivia
John Wayne's patriotism ran deep. In fact, he was one of the most patriotic men who ever lived!
Pictured on a 37¢ USA commemorative stamp in the Legends of Hollywood series, issued on Thursday, September 9th, 2004. The first-day ceremonies were held at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood
R.I.P. Marion Robert Morrison, aka John Wayne, the Duke