Oscar winning actor Marion Michael Morrison, better known as John Wayne, was born MAY 26, 1907. A U.S.C. football player, he worked behind-the-scenes at Fox Studios, before being discovered by director John Ford, who cast him in epic western and war films. On May 26, 1979, Jimmy Carter said: "I have today approved...a specially struck gold medal to John Wayne. For nearly half a century, the Duke has symbolized the American ideals of integrity, courage, patriotism, and strength and has represented to the world many of the deepest values that this Nation respects." Ronald Reagan said November 5, 1984: "I noted the news coverage about the death of my friend, John Wayne. One headline read 'The Last American Hero.'...No one would be angrier than Duke Wayne at the suggestion that he was America's last hero. Just before he died, he said in his unforgettable way, 'Just give the American people a good cause, and there's nothing they can't lick.'" In his album, America-Why I Love Her, 1977, John Wayne stated: "If we want to keep these freedoms, we may have to fight again. God forbid, but if we do, let's always fight to win...Face the flag, son...and thank God it's still there."