He was a college football player at USC. But then he got hurt bodysurfing. No longer able to play football, he lost his scholarship. And so without funds to pay for school, he dropped out and became a prop boy on films.
As his career in film grew, a screen name was chosen to replace his birth name of Marion Mitchell Morrison. He wasn’t even part of the conversation. Marion Mitchell Morrison just became John Wayne. And John Wayne became one of the most famous actors in the U.S.