While John Wayne passed away over four decades, his legacy continues to dominate Hollywood and serve as the face of the American Western.
The John Wayne Cancer Foundation (JWCF) was established in 1985 due to John Wayne’s dying wish, which stated that his family and supporters should use his name and likeness to aid in the fight against cancer. Via sponsoring the establishment of the Cancer Institute bearing his name, education initiatives, awareness campaigns, and support groups, JWCF has supported research over the years.
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John Wayne’s Appearance (Height, Hair, Eyes & More)
|Height||6 ft 2 in
Facts About John Wayne
|Estimate Net Worth||$25 million|
|Birthplace||Winterset, Iowa, USA|
|Birthday||May 26, 1907|
John Wayne’s Net Worth
At the time of his passing in 1979, John Wayne, an American actor, director, and producer, had a $7 million net worth. That is equivalent to about $25 million in today’s money after inflation is considered. Soon after his passing, the size of his estate was made known to the public.
Real estate worth $1 million and personal property worth about $6 million was included in the estate. With investments and royalties, he generated an annual passive income of $100,000, or $350,000 in today’s value.
John Wayne’s Early Life
John Wayne, Marion Michael Morrison, was born in Winterset, Iowa, on May 26, 1907. His parents altered his middle name from Marion Robert Morrison to Michael after opting to name their subsequent baby Robert. Wayne’s family relocated to Glendale, California, in 1916 after initially settling in Palmdale, California, while he was a child. (1) Clyde Leonard Morrison, his father, was employed as a pharmacist there.
John Wayne’s Education
Wayne was a standout student and athlete at Glendale Union High School. He participated in extracurricular activities like joining the football and debate teams. He graduated from the University of Southern California, where he studied pre-law and played football. However, he could not participate in athletics because he shattered his collarbone while bodysurfing. He thus lost his athletic scholarship and was forced to leave school.
John Wayne’s Wife and Family Life
Three times married and thrice divorced, Wayne. His three wives were all of Latin ancestries, and he spoke Spanish fluently. He also engaged in several high-profile liaisons, including that with Merle Oberon, an actress, from 1938 to 1947, and Pat Stacy, his former assistant, from 1973 until his passing.
Michael and Patrick continued their father’s career as actors and producers. He had three additional kids—Ethan, Aissa, and Marisa—with his third wife, Pilar Palette. Over the years, Ethan has worked as an actor.
John Wayne’s Career
Wayne was a renowned actor who became a symbol of rugged masculinity. He was recognizable for his tall stature, calm voice, and unusual gait. Wayne appeared in 170 movies and was frequently cast in Western movies. When he started working for Fox Film Corporation, director John Ford employed him as a prop boy and extra. He made his debut in the entertainment industry. He rose through the ranks, first getting minor roles and supporting parts, until director Raoul Walsh noticed him lugging studio equipment and hired him as the lead in his 1930 movie “The Great Trail.”
Although it is praised by many contemporary reviewers, “The Great Trail” was viewed as a significant commercial failure when released. It was one of the first high-budget movies of the sound era to be shot outdoors. Wayne, as a result, was reduced to several minor roles after the failure of his initial movie. From 1930 to 1939, he also acted in what he estimates to be roughly 80 low-budget horse opera movies.
Wayne’s breakout performance occurred in John Ford’s “Stagecoach” in 1939. Ford initially struggled to secure funding for the movie, mainly because of Wayne’s B-movie status and prior performance. In the end, he was successful in making the film, which was a huge success, making Wayne a well-known and mainstream actor. Over the following twenty years, Wayne would appear in nearly twenty John Ford movies.
In addition to his career in television and film as an actor, Wayne frequently appeared as a guest on different radio shows, frequently in tragic parts. He had his radio adventure series, “Three Sheets to the Wind,” for six months in 1942. He also directed “The Alamo” (1960) and “The Green Berets,” among other movies (1968). In addition, he worked as a producer on “The Alamo,” which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. Although he was uncredited for most of them, he produced numerous additional movies and other endeavors.
He has successfully produced a lot of movies as well. He was the proprietor of Batjac Productions, an independent motion picture production firm. He has performed numerous guest appearances for radio programs like “The Hedda Hopper Show” and “The Louella Parsons Show.”
John Wayne’s Controversies
The University of Southern California, School of Cinematic Arts, will take down a John Wayne-themed exhibit because the late actor’s prior discriminatory comments have drawn more attention.
Although the statement did not specifically address the Wayne scandal, his legacy has recently been under scrutiny, particularly after a 1971 interview with Playboy that was discovered and went viral last year. In it, Wayne expressed unfavorable opinions towards Native People, African Americans, and movies featuring LGBT characters.
In the interview, the actor said, “I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to the point of responsibility. I don’t believe in giving irresponsible people authority and leadership positions and judgment.”
According to USC student news site Annenberg Media, Wayne’s remarks caused a stir among students, some of whom started calling for the exhibit’s removal.
John Wayne’s Humanitarian Works and Activism
In 1952’s Big Jim McLain, Wayne—a well-known conservative and anticommunist—joined his personal and professional lives. He took on the role of a US investigator. The House Un-American Activities Committee fought to expel communists from all spheres of public life. Wayne was a prominent member of the Motion Picture Association for the Preservation of American Ideals off-screen and even briefly held the position of its president. Ronald Reagan and Gary Cooper were also members of the organization, comprised of conservatives who wished to prevent communists from working in the motion picture industry.
Wayne persisted in promoting his libertarian political viewpoints. He backed his friend Reagan’s campaigns for reelection in 1970 and the California governorship in 1966. Wayne produced radio spots for Reagan’s initial run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1976. (2)
Before he passed away, the US A congressional gold medal honoring Wayne was approved by Congress. In 1980, it was presented to his family. The Orange County Airport was renamed after Wayne in the same month of his death. Later, in 1990 and 2004, he was shown on a postage stamp. In 2007, he was inducted into the California Hall of Fame.
The John Wayne Cancer Foundation was founded in 1985 by Wayne’s children to recognize his humanitarian efforts in the fight against cancer. The organization supports several cancer-related activities, like the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California.
John Wayne’s Death
At 72, Wayne died from stomach cancer on June 11, 1979. It wasn’t his first experience with cancer, either; he battled it for more than ten years. Regrettably, the medical professionals concluded that the actor was too frail to start chemotherapy and experimental treatment, both of which were welcomed by the actor.
In 1964, Wayne came up with the phrase “The Big C” for cancer. Ultimately, he required the removal of his left lung and four ribs. Wayne was regularly out of breath, but he appeared to improve at that moment. He continued to smoke and chew tobacco frequently, worsening his predicament.
Wayne spent his time in the hospital surrounded by his loved ones. He was never left alone as the physicians tried to improve his physical condition. Yet, in the end, their efforts were unsuccessful. Throughout his dying days, Wayne drifted in and out of consciousness.
Aissa, Wayne’s daughter, was beside his bedside as he passed away. She asked her father if he recognized her while holding his hand. He answered with his final words, “Of course, I know who you are. You’re my girl. I love you.”
On June 11, 1979, Wayne passed away in Los Angeles, California. (3) Seven children from two of his three marriages were his only survivors. From 1933 and 1945, while he was married to Josephine Saenz, the pair had four kids: two daughters, Antonia and Melinda, and two sons, Michael and Patrick.
John Wayne’s Heirs
Wayne’s estate was $6.85 million, according to the Associated Press. This includes $100,000 in income, $5.75 million in personal goods, and $1 million in real estate. (4)
Yet Pilar, his third wife, from whom he divorced in 1973, received none of that. According to Wayne’s attorney John S. Warren, a separation agreement was provided for the actor’s third wife. Wayne also gave $10,000 to Pat Stacy, his current secretary, and $30,000 to Mary St. John, his former secretary.
Wayne had seven kids in total. He left each of them $5,000 times their age at the time of his passing, minus 21. So, his 44-year-old eldest son Michael received $115,000 from him. Wayne’s first wife, Josephine, got monthly cheques for $3,000 from a trust account. Esperanza, his second wife, passed away in the 1950s.
Tony, Wayne’s oldest child, was named in the will, but her husband, Donald La Cava, was explicitly left out. Yet once his wife passed away, he could not claim her portion. Wayne’s attorney failed to elaborate on why Wayne specifically disqualified the husband of his daughter.
Wayne’s paintings, sculptures, and artifacts from the American Indian culture were all donated to organizations following the conditions of his will so that his estate could deduct them from taxes.
- The Wealth Record, John Wayne Net Worth 2023, Age, Height, Weight, Biography, Wiki, retrieved from https://www.thewealthrecord.com/celebs-bio-wiki-salary-earnings-2019-2020-2021-2022-2023-2024-2025/actor/john-wayne-net-worth/
- Web Post, John Wayne, retrieved from https://www.biography.com/actors/john-wayne
- Jennifer Shea, John Wayne: Who Did The Duke Leave Money For in His Will?, retrieved from https://outsider.com/entertainment/john-wayne-who-did-duke-leave-money-will/
- Scott Williamson and Leslie Veliz, HERE’S WHO INHERITED JOHN WAYNE’S MONEY AFTER HE DIED, retrieved from https://www.grunge.com/663985/heres-who-inherited-john-waynes-money-after-he-died/