The Different Names of John Wayne and the Reasons Behind Them

This may come to a surprise to some, but not to all of John Wayne fans, that the actual name he was given at birth was….Marion. That’s right! This masculine man was given the name of Marion Robert Morrison on the day he was born which was May 26th, 1907. This little bundle of joy wasn’t so little either when he was born. He weighed in at a whopping 13 pounds! Makes me feel bad for his mother having to give birth to such a big boy!

Marion

John Wayne had more than one name during his early life and also during his career. His first name was Marion Robert Morrison when he was born. However, when his brother was born, they actually gave Marion’s middle name to his little brother, Robert and gave Mr. ‘Wayne’ the middle name of Mitchell. So, from then on until he was older, he was Marion Mitchell Morrison.

The Duke

Even before he finally became the iconic Mr. John Wayne, he was ‘The Duke.’ This name was given to him when he was about nine or ten-years-old. The family moved to Glen Dale and had a dog. The dog’s name was Big Duke and he became little Duke. He liked the name so much that he insisted everyone start calling him by this name.

He did like the name, ‘Duke Morrison,’ however, when he started his early acting career, he decided that the name sounded more like a stuntman name. Before he changed his name once again, he did receive on-screen credit for the 1929 film titled, ‘Words of Music.’

John Wayne

Now came the time for a stage name. Back in the early days of his career, no one really liked ethnic names. They enjoyed more classical names instead.  So, where did the name ‘John Wayne’ come from anyway? The last name ‘Wayne’ came about because the big boss of Fox Studios, Winfield Sheehan, was a major fan of the name, ‘Mad Anthony’ Wayne, who was actually the name of the General of the Revolutionary War. The first name, John, just started coming up in conversations from time-to-time so the name, John, just stuck with him because it seemed to go great with Wayne. And, the rest of the story is History!

 

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