The very mention of John Wayne conjures up ideas of bravery and patriotism.
In the little village of Winterset in central Iowa, John Wayne’s life tale began. The son of Clyde and Mary Brown Morrison, he was born Marion Robert Morrison on May 26, 1907. On the south side of Winterset’s famed town square, his father, Clyde, worked as a pharmacy. Clyde attended the nearby Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, when he was younger. “The sweetest, most patient guy I ever know,” said John Wayne about his father. Irish-born Mary, Wayne’s mother, was described by Duke as “a little, vibrant red-headed ball of energy.” Their small four-room house has been meticulously renovated to replicate the way it looked in 1907, the year the actor was born.
More than a million people have visited historic Madison County since the John Wayne Birthplace Society was founded in 1982 to see the birthplace house. President Ronald Reagan, cinema great Maureen O’Hara, Wayne’s widow and all of his children, as well as admirers from all 50 states and 40 other nations, have all attended.
Visitors now have the chance to view the most extensive collection of John Wayne artifacts in existence, which includes original movie posters, film wardrobe, scripts, contracts, letters, works of art and sculpture, and even one of his final customized cars, thanks to the opening of the 6,100 square foot John Wayne Birthplace Museum adjacent to the home.
The establishment, which is the only John Wayne museum in the entire globe, naturally has a theater. Watch a documentary on Duke’s extraordinary cinematic career while relaxing in plush seats that were originally from Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Explore our gift shop’s extensive selection of John Wayne memorabilia that makes wonderful gifts or exciting new additions to your collection. As you linger and discover more about John Wayne the actor, the private person, and an American legend, you’ll be fascinated.