For our upcoming John Wayne Collector’s Edition, on newsstands October 5–January 25 (to order your copy call 800-952-5813, or visit, I’d like to print some reader responses to this question. “Given today’s contentious political atmosphere (nationally and internationally), why could America use a figure like John Wayne?” What values did the Duke represent to you, and how do you see them at play in our society—or not?

In 1959, when Richard Nixon lost to John Kennedy, Wayne was quoted as saying: “He wasn’t my candidate, but now he’s my President, and I wish him only success.” This kind of civil rhetoric recalls an era of manners and respect, and, to me at least, is an indication for trust in the process that’s missing today.

John Wayne was much more than an actor. What did he mean to you? And why does American need people like him?


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