African Americans on Postage Stamps

Duke Ellington

Composer and Orchestra Conductor

22-cent Duke Ellington stamp
The Duke Ellington stamp was issued on April 29, 1986.

"There is hardly any money interest in art, and music will be there when money is gone."
—Duke Ellington

Edward K. “Duke” Ellington is considered one of the greatest composers and orchestra conductors of the 20th century. Primarily associated with jazz, Ellington became nationally known through live broadcasts from the Cotton Club in New York City, and some of his most famous compositions include “Mood Indigo,” “Take the ‘A’ Train,” and “Satin Doll.” One of his most celebrated works is "Black, Brown, and Beige," a musical history of African-Americans. In 1969, Ellington received the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The Black Experience