Few film actors had the lasting popularity of John Wayne, especially when he appeared in westerns. During his lifetime, he was a top-ten box office star for twenty-four years. Three decades after his death, a 2012 Harris poll continued to place him among the top 5 most popular film actors. In this comprehensive essay, Rambo-creator David Morrell analyzes Wayne’s career in westerns and explores his fascinating, complex personality, including his Latin studies in high school and his skills as a chess player. Even Wayne’s most knowledgeable fans will be surprised by this insightful essay.