Edward Kennedy Ellington, aka Duke Ellington, wrote over 1,000 compositions in his lifetime as a Jazz band-leader, composer and pianist, including Jazz standards, film scores and classical works. His middle name is his mother's maiden name, taken as a tribute to her memory and inherited by his only son, Mercer Kennedy Ellington.
Ellington's father worked as a butler at the White House.
Despite the fact that both of his parents were amateur pianists, Ellington preferred baseball to piano lessons when he was a child.
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