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John Wayne: The Forgotten History Of “The Duke” by Sam Jacobs

John Wayne is an American Hollywood icon every bit the equal of James Dean or Marilyn Monroe. He is also a man from another era, a man whose conservatism came as naturally as walking down the street. Affectionately known as “The Duke,” he spent three decades as a top box office draw with 179 film and television credits to his name. Wayne was known throughout his life as perhaps the most staunchly conservative Republican in all of Hollywood, which was no small feat at the time. In particular, Wayne was ardently anti-Communist and more than willing to play ball with the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) outing Communists in the film industry. He formed the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals and was elected as president twice for the organization. Wayne even went so far as to make the film, Big Jim McLain, where he starred as a HUAC investigator. When Emperor Hirohito visited the United States in 1975, he specifically requested to meet Wayne as a representative of the American people. Similarly, when Nikita Khrushchev visited the States in 1959, he came with two requests: Disneyland and John Wayne. Additionally, he appeared on every annual Harris Poll of America’s favorite actors and is still the only person to appear on the list after his death. The Duke is an inspiration both in his public persona of a man’s man’s man, as well as his willingness to stand up, uncompromisingly against leftist forces who want to turn America into something other than America. He was also one heck of an actor who made some of the most entertaining films ever, with none of the leftist cultural jihads that plagues Hollywood today.

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