The Young Duke

The Early Life of John Wayne

By the time Stagecoach made John Wayne a silver-screen star in 1939, the thirty-one-year-old was already a veteran of more than sixty films, having twirled six-guns, tossed rope, busted broncos, and foiled cattle rustlers in B westerns for five different studios over the course of a dozen years. By the 1950s he was Hollywood’s most popular male actor–an Academy Award nominee destined to become an American icon.
Through previously unpublished photographs and revealing family anecdotes, The Young Duke tells how Marion Morrison became the legend known as John Wayne–from his boyhood in Winterset, Iowa, to his days as a college football star, to his stunning box-office success in Westerns and war movies in the 1930s and 1940s. Shedding new light on Wayne’s formative years and early Hollywood roles and influences, this biography reveals the true stories behind the screen legend’s public and private lives.