Portrait of Duke Ellington at the Paramount Theater, New York City 1946
Born: April 29, 1899, Washington, D.C. Died: May 24, 1974, New York City
Born Edward Kennedy Ellington, Duke Ellington was one of the founding fathers of jazz music. He started playing piano at the age of seven, and by the time he was 15, he was composing. A pianist, bandleader, arranger, and composer, Ellington and his band played together for 50 years. Some of Ellington's most famous songs include "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "Sophisticated Lady" and "In a Sentimental Mood."