Famous Masons

Many men throughout history have been members of our fraternity.

In these pages we will present you with them and try to impress upon you the great men that have been Masons.

Famous Mason Categories
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Photo of Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington

Jazz Musician
Birthday: April 29, 1899 Deceased: May 24, 1974

Biography

Edward Kennedy ?Duke? Ellington was an American composer, pianist and bandleader of jazz orchestras. He led his orchestra from 1923 until his death, his career spanning over 50 years. Born in Washington, D.C., Ellington was based in New York City from the mid-1920s onward, and gained a national profile through his orchestra?s appearances at the Cotton Club in Harlem. In the 1930s, his orchestra toured in Europe. Though widely considered to have been a pivotal figure in the history of jazz, Ellington embraced the phrase ?beyond category? as a ?liberating principle?, and referred to his music as part of the more general category of ?American Music?, rather than to a musical genre such as ?jazz?.

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