Classic Movie Hub (CMH)

John Wayne - born 110 years ago, on May 26, 1907 - embodied a very particular kind of American hero. In 1969, in the wake of what LIFE called a "splendid performance" in True Grit, the magazine examined the life of the American icon and reminded readers that, even though the world was changing rapidly, John Wayne was not.

After all, it was a time when audiences could also opt for a newer kind of star (exemplified in Dustin Hoffman, who shared the magazine's cover with the Western icon) but John Wayne was still making Westerns, still riding horses, still holding onto his vision of right and wrong.

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