Duke Ellington - A New Coin for a Famous American


On Tuesday Washington celebrated the release of a special new coin. The American quarter (25 cents) shows a drawing of the jazz legend Duke Ellington. It is the first time a famous black American is shown on an American coin. Another coin, made in 2003 shows the image of a Black slave.

The new quarter shows Ellington in front of a piano. Under it is the phrase “Justice For All” - the District of Columbia’s new motto.

Like many great Americans Duke Ellington was a symbol of American talent and hard work.

He was born in Washington in 1899 and started to get interested in music at an early age. He took his first piano lessons at the age of seven and in 1923 he moved to New York City because he thought he had a greater chance as a musician there.

Critics and other musicians quickly saw that Duke was a big talent. People around the world got interested in his music. He became known as one of the fathers of jazz music. Although he stayed in New York he often returned to Washington for performances. Ellington won a total of 13 Grammy awards.

Duke Ellington coin


Related Topics



  • celebrate = a special event
  • coin = a piece of metal that is used as money
  • Grammy = a prize of the American music industry
  • performance = when someone acts in a play or plays music in front of an audience
  • release = to make public