Winterset will honor its most famous native son tonight. Whether he was playing a World War Two soldier or sailor, an American boxer in Ireland or a tamer of the Wild West, John Wayne helped define the cinematic hero during his 50-year career in film.
The past Wednesday would’ve been his 103rd birthday. While Wayne died in 1979, his likeness will live on in Winterset. With his daughter among the expected attendees, the town will unveil a seven-and-a-half foot tall bronze statue of the late actor, set on a block of Iowa limestone. The Duke’s wearing a cowboy hat, holding a shotgun and gazing westward.