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John Wayne


Born Marion Michael Morrison in Winterset, Iowa. Attended the University of Southern California on an athletic scholorship 1925 to 1927. Married Josephine Saenz in 1933; divorced in 1945. They had four children. Married Esperanza Bauer in 1946; divorced in 1954. Married Pilar Palette November 1, 1954. They had three children.

"Duke" Wayne appeared in many movies. His role in the 1939 movie Stagecoach made him a star. He won the Academy Award in 1968 for best actor in True Grit. He died in Los Angeles.

Congress honored Wayne with a gold medal by resolution in June 1979 shortly before his death. Design was by Frank Gasparro. The original medal was presented to Michael Wayne representing the family March 6, 1980. Bronze copies of the medal were issued in a 3 inch size (USM 666) and a 1 5/16 inch size (USM 667). At one time it was the mint's best selling medal.

bio: CBY 72; ConAut 85; IntWW 79; WAB obit: CB Aug 79

Source credit: Pete Smith, American Numismatic Biographies


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