Press Kit

The John Wayne Statue

Orange County Airport was renamed by the Orange County Board of Supervisors on June 20, 1979, to honor the late John Wayne. Citing the Newport Beach resident's distinguished film career and reputation as a true American patriot, the Board's resolution described Wayne as "a man of humility, of honesty, and a hero of the American West (who) was a symbol to the world of the traditional American values."

To commemorate the Airport's namesake, the John Wayne Associates commissioned sculptor Robert Summers to create a bronze statue of “The Duke.” The nine-foot statue, created at the Hoka Hey Foundry in Dublin, Texas, was dedicated to the County on November 4, 1982, and installed on a pedestal outside the Eddie Martin Terminal.

The statue was returned to the Hoka Hey Foundry on March 23, 1990, for refinishing and restoration in preparation for its placement in the lobby of the Thomas F. Riley Terminal. After removing the original finish, Summers added a new patina adding subtle coloring to the statue's traditional western garb. According to the sculptor, the new finish is more appropriate for the statue's position under artificial lighting.

Located on the Arrival (lower) Level between Riley Terminals A and B baggage claim areas, the statue rests atop a pedestal covered in the same marble that graces the entire facility. Designed in two tiers to allow visitors to touch the statue, the pedestal provides a fitting home for one of the nation's most loved and remembered patriots.

For more information, contact Deanne Thompson at 949.252.5182 or dthompson@ocair.com.

John Wayne Airport (SNA) is owned by the County of Orange and is operated as a self-supporting enterprise that receives no general fund tax revenue. The Airport serves more than 10 million passengers annually and reaches more than 20 nonstop destinations in the United States, Canada and Mexico. More information can be found at ocair.com. Like us on Facebook.com/johnwayneairport, or follow us on Twitter @johnwayneair and Instagram @johnwayneair.

Last updated: 03/29/17