Actor's legacy lives on
The Duke’s legacy lives on in ways other than his movies. Herewith are six “monuments” in his honor:
- In 1982, P.S. 380 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn became the John Wayne Elementary School after its principal pushed for the starry moniker. The school later erected a 38-foot mosiac mural called “John Wayne and the American Frontier” by artist Knox Martin.
- Originally called the Orange County Airport, it was renamed the John Wayne Airport in 1979, the year the movie star died. Wayne lived nearby on Lido Island in Newport Harbor.
- After the actor’s own battle with cancer, his family established the John Wayne Cancer Institute at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica. It specializes in melanoma and breast cancer research.
- The John Wayne Pioneer Trail in Washington’s Iron Horse State Park is named after a horse-riding group that advocated the memorial. The trail follows the former roadbed of the Chicago-Milwaukee-St. Paul-Pacific Railroad two-thirds of the way across Washington, from the western slopes of the Cascade Mountains to the border with Idaho.
- The actor sailed his yacht, the Wild Goose, in Sequim Bay, Wash., and always envisioned a marina at Pitship Point. In 1985, he got his wish when the John Wayne Marina was erected on 22 acres donated by his children.
- The John Wayne Statue, created by Hanny Jackson in 1984, graced the plaza in front of Western Bank. When that institution relocated, the bronze statue of Wayne on a horse found itself at the entrance of the Flynt Publications Building, on the corner of Wilshire and Hamilton in Beverly Hills.