John Wayne died more than thirty years ago, but he remains one of the five favourite movie stars of contemporary audiences. Yet, there has never been a comprehensive biography worthy of the man as well as the star. Until now. The beloved Hollywood icon comes fully to life in this complex portrait by a master biographer. Exploring Wayne's early life with a difficult mother and a feckless father, Eyman makes startling connections to his later days as an anti-Communist conservative, his stormy marriages and his notorious-and surprisingly long-lived-extra-marital affair with Marlene Dietrich. In addition to his interviews with those who knew Wayne best-many of whom had never spoken on the record before-Eyman draws on the actor's own business records to weave a rich tapestry of American cultural history: the story of a man who went from college football to romantic lead on the silver screen, and who ultimately became the dominant-and often domineering-symbol of his country at mid-century, the quintessential American male against which all other screen heroes are compared.