Duke’s Legacy: Part 4

In honor of Father’s Day comes the fourth photo story of John Wayne in a role he played best: Dad.

Melinda gives her dad a hug.

Melinda gives her dad a hug.

MELINDA WAYNE MUNOZ

Born in 1940, Melinda is John Wayne’s fourth child with wife Josephine Alicia Saenz. She remembers her dad as “just a normal father.” With a grounded upbringing, it was the everyday interest he showed—whether it was in her friends or her school grades—that mattered most. “He was a man of honor,” she says. “I loved being my father’s daughter.” Today, Melinda lives in Orange County, CA, where she enjoys spending an abundant amount of time with her family—and particularly, her 16 grandchildren. Undoubtedly, a special quality she inherited from her dad.

John Wayne with Melinda, Toni, Patrick and Michael (left to right) at a rodeo event.

John Wayne with Melinda, Toni, Patrick and Michael (left to right) at a rodeo event.

John Wayne and Melinda goof around on the set of The Conqueror (1956) in Utah.

John Wayne and Melinda goof around on the set of The Conqueror (1956) in Utah.


“My mother and father were very respectful to one another and never spoke against each other. That is a great example of how two people can be parents even though they are not married. My mom never gave an interview or talked about him [after their divorce], and he was hugely respectful and appreciative of her.”

— Melinda Wayne Munoz, from The Genuine Article

Melinda with her dad, who is wearing his signature Red River D belt buckle.

Melinda with her dad, who is wearing his signature Red River D belt buckle.

Melinda, John Wayne and Peggy Wayne aboard the Wild Goose.

Melinda, John Wayne and Peggy Wayne aboard the Wild Goose.

John Wayne and Melinda play a friendly game of chess.

John Wayne and Melinda play a friendly game of chess.