John Wayne: The Duke’s Estate Drops Classic Photo Signing Autographs for Little League Team

by Jon D. B.

“The Duke always stopped to sign autographs & take photos with his fans” says the John Wayne Estate with this fantastic throwback photo.

According to his estate, John Wayne fans would never miss an opportunity “to get the Duke’s autograph!” Who would? Given the chance, any Outsider would jump at the opportunity!

Back in the day, however, such a thing was possible – and would often happen. His estate is hitting fans with proof this Thursday courtesy of their official Instagram.

“Whether he was traveling, out to dinner, or making appearances, the Duke always stopped to sign autographs & take photos with his fans,” his estate cites of the Western icon.

Within their Thursday Instagram post, we see a fantastic shot of John Wayne signing autographs for a whole team of little leaguers. “He knew they were the reason he remained one of the top actors of his time,” the Instagram caption continues. All too true!

Many photos of John Wayne signing autographs exist, adding further credence to his estate’s statement. The cover photo of this article features “John Wayne signing autographs for a group of young boys, at London Airport, April 11th 1957.”

Another photo from the archives shows “actor John Wayne signing autographs for admiring fans after the court decision in his alimony case.” How about that!

It’s such a fantastically specific occurrence and image, even, that we’re including it below:

6/12/1953-Photo shows actor John Wayne signing autographs for admiring fans after the court decision in his alimony case. Via Getty Images.

John Wayne’s Unshakable Love for His ‘People & Country’

Much of what we see above extends from the ever-present love of America that John Wayne held. He was a staunch patriot, unwavering in his morals and politics. He would even produce a love letter to exactly this in 1972 with a spoken-word album. It’s called America, Why I Love Her.

America was a project of great personal importance to The Duke. In fact, he would mark it among his favorite achievements of his career.

John Wayne’s own words describe the album as “a series of heartfelt, patriotic speeches over a bed of stirring music”. This is exactly what his fellow Americans received, too. So what better opportunity to revisit this iconic, stirring poetry courtesy of The Duke himself.

The most poignant example from Wayne’s America album is his Pledge of Allegiance. This original speech, the 8th track from Why I Love Her, is available to listen to in full at the link below. There, you can also follow along with John Wayne’s own lyrics.

Within his Pledge of AllegianceWayne sees America as “a land forged by hot steel of courage,” where “freedom of worship is a cornerstone of her being… A land graced with temples and churches, synagogues and altars… That rise in profusion to embrace all the religions of the world.”

It is as powerful a love letter to the United States of America as one could ever pen. If you haven’t heard John Wayne’s recital or seen the lyrics, you can do both with us right here on Outsider.