George Duke Birthday & Fun Facts

Height, Age, Net Worth, Biography & More

Martha Martins
Jan 31, 2024 By Martha Martins
Originally Published on May 20, 2022
Fact-checked by Naman Khanna
The boy from San Rafael, George Duke, became one of the biggest names in the world of music.
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Read time: 5.6 Min

About George Duke

In the early '70s, jazz pianist George Duke released a series of albums that would cross genres and influence musicians for years to come.
He started out playing with Cannonball Adderley, but soon began his solo career, releasing hit album after hit album. Duke's music was unique in that it blended elements of jazz, funk, soul, and rock into a cohesive sound that was unmistakable.
In his long musical career, he has also collaborated with other big names, like Frank Zappa, Denice Williams, Jeffrey Osborne, Stanley Clarke, Smokey Robinson, Anita Baker, Barry Manilow, and Gladys Knight. He also won many awards and received numerous nominations. George Duke went to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he completed his Bachelor's degree.
George Duke was born in 1946 in San Rafael, California, and passed away in 2013. Even after his death, his music continues to be enjoyed by fans all over the world.
In the rest of the article, we will be discussing some intriguing facts about the life and career of this great music director.

George Duke Net Worth, Earnings & Spending Habits

What was George Duke’s net worth?

A successful career in the world of jazz music helped George Duke to build a net worth of $500,000. It is said that George Duke earned most of his wealth from his music. Apart from that, he also made a great amount of cash through advertisements, sponsorship deals, and endorsement contracts.

Height, Age & Physical Attributes

How tall was George Duke?

Not much information is available on the physical attributes of George Duke, yet some say that he stood at 67 in (170 cm) tall.

How old was George Duke?

George Duke was born on January 12, 1946; so he was 67 years old at the time of his death in 2013.

Childhood And Education

Born to Thadd Duke and Beatrice Burrell in San Rafael, George Duke was raised in Marin City. He acquired a profound interest in piano at the age of four when his mother took him to a Duke Ellington concert. Later, when he was asked about the day, he confessed that he could not remember much, but his mother had told him that he had become so excited after watching the show and had begged her for a piano. Before long, at the age of seven, George Duke started his piano studies at a local Baptist church.
After graduating from Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley, he attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Music to earn his B.A. in trombone and composition along with a minor in contrabass. After that, he went to San Francisco State University and completed his Master's degree in composition in 1975.
Upon completing his education, George Duke became interested in classical music, which he then started to play. Thanks to his cousin Charles Burrell, he later switched to jazz and decided to become a jazz pianist. Around this time he also taught a course on American culture and jazz at Merritt College in Oakland.
Duke's career as a musician began with the release of this first album in 1966. After that, he started working on his second album with Jean-Luc Ponty and soon became the renowned musical director that we know today.

Family, Romance, And Relationships

Who was George Duke’s partner?

George Duke was a family man, and even though the exact date of his marriage is not known, he was married to Corine Duke for a long time until 2012. The couple also had two children named Rashid Duke and John Duke. What exactly happened to their marriage is not entirely clear, but it appears that they separated just one year before Duke's death.

Career And Professional Highlights

The name George Duke is very well known in the world of jazz. This American musician was one of the finest keyboard players and composers of all time with numerous awards and nominations.

Best Known For…

Here is a list that contains some of the greatest creations of this legendary music director.
The first album that introduced him to the world of jazz was 'The Jean-Luc Ponty Experience With The George Duke Trio'. It was released in 1969 on World Pacific Jazz in the United States.
In the '70s, Duke became a solo artist, and in 1974, he released one of his most celebrated solo albums, 'Feel'.
In 1975, he released 'The Aura Will Prevail'. Though Frank Zappa was a co-writer of this album, it is considered to be a solo work of George Duke.
Some of his other solo albums include 'I Love The Blues, She Heard My Cry' (1975), 'From Me To You' (1977), 'Don't Let Go' (1978), and 'A Brazilian Love Affair' (1980).
One of his earliest collaborative works is 'Soul Zodiac'. It was recorded and released in 1972.
In the same year, another collaborative work titled 'Soul Of The Bible' was released. Like the previous one, it was also produced by Cannonball Adderley.
In 1973, 'Over-Nite Sensation' was released by Frank Zappa, and Duke had collaborated with him for this album.
Last on this list is 'One Size Fits All'. It was also by Zappa with collaboration from Duke and was released in 1975.

Charity Work

All his life, George Duke never revealed anything about his charity work in public. But in 2005, he served as an artist for a series of live performances in India. Those shows conducted by American jazz musicians intended to promote AIDS/HIV awareness.

What awards had George Duke won?

George Duke won two Grammy Awards for his contribution to the world of music. The first one was in 2000 for 'In The Moment - Live In Concert' (by Dianne Reeves), under the Best Jazz Vocal Album category. The second one was in 2001 under the same category for 'The Calling'. Apart from that, he was included in The Soul Music Hall of Fame.

Other Interesting George Duke Facts And Trivia

As a record producer, George Duke's breakthrough came in 1980 with the album called 'Twice As Sweet' by A Taste of Honey. The song 'Sukiyaki' in this album reached number 1 on the pop and R&B charts.
George Duke has also produced music for movies such as '200 Motels', 'The Five Heartbeats', 'Leap Of Faith', 'Karate Kid III', 'Never Die Alone', and 'Good Fences'.
George Duke also worked with Michael Jackson in his legendary album 'Off The Wall'. It was released by Jackson in 1979.
In an interview, George Duke said he came up with the idea of 'Sweet Baby' while working with Stanley Clarke. Duke later said that 'Sweet Baby' became 'the biggest hit I've ever had overall'.
Over the years, George Duke's most celebrated work, 'The Jean-Luc Ponty Experience With The George Duke Trio' has been reissued three times: in 1980, 1981, and 1993.
It is said that George Duke had been suffering from chronic lymphocytic leukemia and on August 5, 2013, lost his life to this fatal disease.
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George Duke Birthday & Fun Facts Facts

Date of Birth


Date of Death




Place of Birth

San Rafael, California


170 cm


Keyboard Player


San Francisco State University

Net Worth



Corine Duke


Thadd Duke, Beatrice Burrell
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Written by Martha Martins

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

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Martha MartinsBachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha is a full-time creative writer, content strategist, and aspiring screenwriter who communicates complex thoughts and ideas effectively. She has completed her Bachelor's in Linguistics from Nasarawa State University. As an enthusiast of public relations and communication, Martha is well-prepared to substantially impact your organization as your next content writer and strategist. Her dedication to her craft and commitment to delivering high-quality work enables her to create compelling content that resonates with audiences.

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