The legendary actor and director John Wayne was known for his roles as a stoic cowboy in movies such as “Red River” and “The Alamo.” Less well known is the amount of money he was worth at the time of his death from cancer in 1979 at age 72.
John Wayne Was Worth $7 Million
Now, Pop Culture reports, Celebrity Net Worth has revealed that when Wayne died, his net worth was somewhere in the neighborhood of $7 million. That’s the equivalent of $25 million today, adjusted for inflation.
When Wayne passed, he owned $1 million in real estate across Arizona, Newport Harbor and the Puget Sound. He also had about $6 million in personal assets and investments. He made $100,000 a year from investments and royalties alone, which would be about $350,000 today.
Over the years, Wayne’s net worth has grown to $50 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
His Battle With Cancer
In his final film, “The Shootist,” Wayne played an old gunfighter who was dying of cancer – a poignant role for Wayne, considering that he battled cancer for the final decade of his life. He lost his left lung to lung cancer in 1964 and was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 1979.
There is a cancer foundation named in his honor, the John Wayne Cancer Foundation, based in Costa Mesa, California. His family launched the foundation, which funds innovative approaches that improve cancer patients’ outcomes. It also supports cancer research, education and youth awareness outreach.
Wayne smoked around six packs of cigarettes a day. But some have speculated that his cancer was the result of the decision to film the movie “The Conqueror” in St. George, Utah. The town sat a hundred miles away from a nuclear bomb test site in Nevada. The government had tested 11 bombs there the year before filming began, and the winds blew the contaminated air down to Utah.
Whatever the cause of his stomach cancer, Wayne received the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom after his death.