Many Characters, Many Names1
Comp. I.


March 30, 2004


Marion Morrison, a man of several lifestyles in had lifestyles of his own, Marion was best known for a western characteristics. Marion didn’t ring a bell, did it? Marion was John Wayne’s name at birth. Marion Robert Morrison the first name given to John Wayne, but John had a brother and his folks decided to name him Robert. So Marion Robert was changed to Marion Michael Morrison. Marion was born May 26, 1907, in Winterset, Iowa.


At age six, Marion and his folks moved to California. As a California teenager Marion was nicknamed Duke after his Airedale. Duke went to Glendale High School in California where he played football. There he won a scholarship and went on to college at the University of Southern California (USC). Duke was told to go pledge for a fraternity. The fraternity that he joined Sigma Chi. Throughout his football career a coach got all of his players a summer job. Duke’s summer job was working as a prop man in the movie industry. He was hired on as a prop man.


Marion was a man of patriotism. He wanted to join the Navy, but was not allowed because he messed up his shoulder playing football. John Wayne made 206 known movies in almost 50 years. His best movies were Stagecoach, The Searchers, Big Jim McLain, Rio Bravo, Rio Lobo, Big Jake, The Cowboys, and last but not least The Shootist. My favorite film, however, is The Cowboys. This particular film was made in 1972. John Wayne’s character was a 60-year-old farmer named Will Anderson. Mr. Anderson needed helping hands in a cattle drive. His bar tending friend took him to the schoolhouse to show him that the schoolboys could just possibly be the helping hands he needed. He decides to take the young boys on this drive. He had to train them and relate to them for this job. But one day he and the boys are at the mud pit. Two Bulls start fighting and he tells them, “Well I’ve seen them fight all day, from dawn to dark. Sometimes the young one wins, sometimes the old. Young one’s got more muscle, old one has more experience…That’s the old one still standing there.” Meaning that even though elders are “Old Fashioned” they know a little about what’s going on. They are stronger because they have been through hard times, and survived, “Still standing!” The Shootist was Duke’s last film, made in 1976.


John Wayne passed away on June 11, 1979, at age 72. He died of lung cancer and no hope of survival. John Wayne was and still is a great positive role model because he worked to get as far as he did. He knew what he wanted out of life and succeeded. John Wayne is a ‘Western Hero’ and always will be. People should never underestimate John Wayne for he knew how to live an American life at its fullest and survive.