- Born April 29, 1899 in Washington, D.C.
- Ellington gained his nickname "Duke" from his friends because of his flashy style
-He was a pianist, composer and band leader
- Led the band, "The Washingtonians"
- One of his most famous pieces is "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"
- Became the house band at the "Cotton Club" in Harlem, which helped gain their national fame
- Won many awards, including 13 grammy's
- Helped nationalize the importance of jazz music
-Passed away in New York, New York on May 24, 1974
- Song wrote after his death in his honor, "Sir Duke"