John Wayne

Masonic Biographies

John Wayne

Born: Sunday, 26 May 1907
Died: Monday, 11 June 1979


John Wayne was an actor and Freemason who vivified the independent, pioneering spirit of Masonic Liberty.


John Wayne was a lifelong participant in fraternal societies. A Member of DeMolay in high school, John Wayne would become a 32nd-degree Scottish Rite Freemason, a Shriner, and receive several DeMolay honors before his death of cancer in 1979. All throughout his life he evidenced individual self-determination and strength of character, honoring himself and the craft by his conduct. A strong believer in equality, he once remarked that within the lodge was the only place he felt that he wasn’t being held up on a pedestal.

Born in 1907 in Iowa, he did not go by John Wayne until studio executives decided that his birth name, Marion Robert Morrison, clashed with the big screen. Their decision was a success, and John Wayne’s career took off. He became one of the most famous actors in America, making the Old West famous, and becoming a symbol of American confidence, ruggedness, and courage. These qualities were not restricted to the silver screen when World War II broke out, Brother John Wayne wanted to go an enlist to defend his country. However, he was too valuable as a source of inspiration for the troops and stared in several war department films.

After the war, Wayne continued in his long and fruitful career as an actor, glorifying an independent and pioneering spirit, promoting the Masonic values of individual liberty and the perfection of humanity. He is rightly remembered as an icon of American culture, who helped build and shape the great American myth and dream.

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