John Wayne Wasn’t a Texan. But His Legacy Lives on in Fort Worth.
Every week, we share dispatches from Texas Country Reporter, the long-running TV show that invites you to hop in and travel along to explore the backroads of Texas.
Texans have seen countless tales of saloons and shoot-outs over the years, but there is no name that says “western” quite like John Wayne.
“When you watch a John Wayne film, when it’s over you feel good,” says Wayne’s biggest fan, his son Ethan. “He built this really archetypical American character and just took him across different story lines.”
After rummaging through a storage unit filled with his father’s memorabilia, Ethan wanted to share his dad’s untold stories with the world. “It will just give you a rounder picture of who the man really was, and reinforce what a special guy he was,” he says.
The resulting exhibit, “John Wayne: An American Experience,” sprawls across many rooms at the Fort Worth Stockyards, showcasing never-before-seen photos, letters, and even Wayne’s 1976 Pontiac Grand Safari, which he had modified so he’d never have to doff his cowboy hat.
In this video from Texas Country Reporter, get a glimpse of the exhibit that illustrates how a man born Marion Robert Morrison became the icon known as John Wayne.