Duke Ellington
Privacy Level: Open (White)

Edward Kennedy Ellington (1899 - 1974)

Edward Kennedy (Duke) Ellington
Born in Washington, District of Columbia, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 2 Jul 1918 in Alexandria, Virginia, United Statesmap
Descendants descendants
Died at age 75 in New York City, New York, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 18 Feb 2009 | Last significant change: 7 May 2022
02:06: Abby (Brown) Glann edited the Biography for Edward Kennedy Ellington (1899-1974). (Categorization. ) [Thank Abby for this]
This page has been accessed 9,601 times.
US Black Heritage Project
Duke Ellington is a part of US Black history.
Join: US Black Heritage Project
Discuss: black_heritage

Biography

Notables Project
Duke Ellington is Notable.
Duke was a Freemason

Duke Ellington, one of the most influential figures in American music, winner of 13 Grammy Awards and a Pulitzer Prize, was a composer, pianist, and leader of a jazz orchestra for fifty years. His score for Anatomy of a Murder in 1959 was "the first significant Hollywood film music by African Americans comprising non-diegetic music."[1]

Edward "Duke" Ellington was born 29 April 1899 in Washington, D.C., USA to James Edward Ellington and Daisy Kennedy, both of whom were pianists.[1] </ref> He grew up in Washington, D.C., first in the West End household of his grandparents,[2] before his parents got their own place. His father's day job then was as a butler,[3] but he also made blueprints for the U.S. Navy.[1]

Duke Ellington registered for the World War I draft on 2 September 1918. He is described as 5'11" tall, slender build, brown eyes, and brown hair. At that time he worked as a messenger for the Federal government. Although he signed as "E.K. Ellington,"[4] he'd long been known as "Duke," a nicknamed bestowed by childhood friends.[1] He listed his nearest relative as his wife, Edna,[4] who had been his high school sweetheart.[1] He, his wife, and their son, Mercer Kennedy Ellington (his only child) were living in Washington, DC, in 1920. Listed as a "dance music" musician,[5] he was becoming quite successful at it.[1]

By 1925, Edward and Edna had moved to New York for his work as a musician,[6] often at the Cotton Club in Harlem.[1] Edna was homesick, though, and returned home to DC.[7] So in 1930, Duke, cabaret musician, was living with his mother, Daisy, his sister, Ruth, and his son, Mercer, in Manhattan.[8] Ruth would later run his music publishing company, Tempo Music, and Mercer would become a musician and his father's business manager as well. From about 1930 to 1939, Mildred Dixon was his live-in companion,[9] possibly his second wife; she raised his son to the age of 19, when Ellington left to move in with another woman. In 1939, he began a 35-year relationship with dancer Beatrice "Evie" Ellis.[1]

During the Depression his orchestra toured England, Scotland, France, and the Netherlands before returning to New York In August of 1933 on the SS Majestic.[10] And in the spring of 1939, just before World War II broke out, he and his orchestra again successfully toured Europe, returning to New York from Southampton, England on the SS Ile De France in May of 1939.[11] It would be about ten years before another European tour was possible, in August of 1948, returning to New York from Cherbourg on the RMS Queen Elizabeth.[12]

Throughout the fifties, sixties, and up to the time of his death in 1974, he continued to compose, record and perform. He was seventy-five when he died on 24 May 1974 in New York.[13] He was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, New York.[14]

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Wikipedia contributors, "Duke Ellington," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Duke_Ellington&oldid=1080677411 (accessed April 20, 2022).
  2. 1900 United States Federal Census] [database on-line] Ancestry Record 7602 #33895814 with attached Image ( Ancestry Sharing Link ). Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. Year: 1900; Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: 159; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0036; FHL microfilm: 1240159
  3. "United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MKLJ-R6X : accessed 27 December 2016), Edward K Ellington in household of James E Ellington, Precinct 8, Washington, District of Columbia, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 152, sheet 3B, family 63, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 153; FHL microfilm 1,374,166.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KZF7-G2Y : 12 December 2014), Edward Kennedy Ellington, 1917-1918; citing District of Columbia no 8, District of Columbia, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,556,838.
  5. "United States Census, 1920," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MNG9-MZ6 : accessed 27 December 2016), Edward H Ellington, Washington, Washington, District of Columbia, United States; citing ED 301, sheet 4B, line 54, family 67, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 212; FHL microfilm 1,820,212.
  6. Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1925; Election District: 20; Assembly District: 19; City: New York; County: New York; Page: 11
  7. "Duke Ellington's Duchess, Jet, (February 2, 1967) pp. 46–. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  8. "United States Census, 1930," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X4GY-H95 : accessed 27 December 2016), Edward D Ellington, Manhattan (Districts 1001-1249), New York, New York, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 1020, sheet 8A, line 37, family 142, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 1577; FHL microfilm 2,341,312.
  9. https://www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/about-the-city/archives/971.6225%20S%201989.pdf P. 15
  10. "New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1909, 1925-1957," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:24VQ-5KC : 2 October 2015), Edward Kennedy Ellington, 1933; citing Immigration, New York, New York, United States, NARA microfilm publication T715 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  11. "New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1909, 1925-1957," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:24LQ-WQD : 2 October 2015), Edward K Ellington, 1939; citing Immigration, New York, New York, United States, NARA microfilm publication T715 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  12. "New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1909, 1925-1957," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVPZ-JSNB : 3 October 2015), Duke Edward Ellington, 1948; citing Immigration, New York, New York, United States, NARA microfilm publication T715 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  13. "United States Social Security Death Index," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JBRC-T57 : 20 May 2014), Edward Ellington, May 1974; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing). Number: 111-07-0402; Issue State: New York; Issue Date: Before 1951.
  14. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/318/duke-ellington : accessed 20 April 2022), memorial page for Duke Ellington (29 Apr 1899–24 May 1974), Find A Grave: Memorial #318, citing Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA; Maintained by Find a Grave.

See also:



More Genealogy Tools



Sponsored Search




Sponsored Search by Ancestry.com

DNA
No known carriers of Duke's DNA have taken a DNA test.

Have you taken a DNA test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Images: 2


Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington

Sponsored by Ancestry ®

Family History Search.

Simplified.

Enter a grandparent's name. Just one grandparent can lead you to many discoveries.

Comments: 2

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.
Hello Profile Managers!

We are featuring this profile in the Connection Finder this week. Between now and Wednesday is a good time to take a look at the sources and biography to see if there are updates and improvements that need made, especially those that will bring it up to WikiTree Style Guide standards. We know it's short notice, so don't fret too much. Just do what you can.

Thanks!

Abby

posted by Abby (Brown) Glann