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Ofield Dukes

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Information about Ofield Dukes

Profile image of Ofield Dukes

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
PoliticalMakers
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Public Relations Chief Executive
Political Consultant

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Steak
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
The First Law of Life Is Knowing Thyself.

Birthplace

Born:
8/8/1932
Birth Location:
Rutledge, Alabama

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
PoliticalMakers
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Public Relations Chief Executive
Political Consultant

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Steak
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
The First Law of Life Is Knowing Thyself.

Birthplace

Born:
8/8/1932
Birth Location:
Rutledge
See how Ofield Dukes is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Public relations guru Ofield Dukes was born in Rutledge, Alabama, on August 8, 1932. After serving in the Army from 1952 to 1954, Dukes went on to Wayne State University in Detroit and graduated in 1958 with a degree in journalism.

After graduating, Dukes spent several years working at WCHB radio as the news director. In 1961, unable to get a job with any of the white-owned newspapers, Dukes went to work on The Michigan Chronicle. He found himself writing virtually all the articles, from editorials to politics, front-page news and music reviews. In 1964, Dukes won three awards for his writing from the National Newspaper Publishers Association, a Washington, D.C.-based organization of black-owned newspapers. Later that year, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed him deputy director of the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity & Plans for Progress. The following year, he became the deputy director of public affairs for the White House Conference to Fulfill These Rights, where he stayed until 1969. In addition to this, he was appointed to Vice President Hubert Humphrey's staff in 1966 as an assistant. Following Johnson's decision not to seek reelection in 1968 and Humphrey's loss in his bid for the White House, Dukes became disillusioned. In 1969, he established Ofield Dukes & Associates, a Washington-based public relations firm, with Motown Records as his first client. Today, they serve Sony Music Entertainment, RJR Nabisco and the Congressional Black Caucus, among others.

Between 1972 and 1983, Dukes served as an adjunct professor of public relations at Howard University, and since 1993 he has served in the School of Communications at the American University in the same capacity. He has been a communications consultant for every Democratic presidential campaign since 1972 and helped organize the first Congressional Black Caucus dinner. He is also the founder of the Black Public Relations Society of Washington.

Dukes has won numerous awards over the years, including a Silver Anvil from the Public Relations Society of America in 1974 and a Gold Anvil in 2001. He has also been inducted into the Washington, D.C. Public Relations Society Hall of Fame.

Ofield Dukes passed away on December 7, 2011.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ofield Dukes' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ofield Dukes lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ofield Dukes describes his family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ofield Dukes describes his earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ofield Dukes describes growing up in Rutledge, Alabama
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ofield Dukes describes growing up with four sisters
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ofield Dukes talks about his childhood personality and the teachings of his Baptist church
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ofield Dukes describes his family's move to Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ofield Dukes describes his childhood community in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ofield Dukes describes his elementary school teacher, Mrs. Barrow, sister of Joe Louis
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ofield Dukes talks about his paper route
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ofield Dukes describes the role of radio soap operas during his youth
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ofield Dukes describes how his paper route allowed him to develop a sense of self-reliance
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ofield Dukes describes the coach of the Miller High School football and basketball teams
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ofield Dukes talks about the Miller High School basketball team
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ofield Dukes describes how he became a cub reporter for the Detroit edition of the "Pittsburgh Courier"
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ofield Dukes describes how he became "a lover" in high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ofield Dukes describes his first heartbreak and failing the entrance exam for Wayne State University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Ofield Dukes describes being drafted to serve in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ofield Dukes describes his experiences serving in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ofield Dukes describes his experiences attending Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ofield Dukes describes being hired as the news director of WCHB-AM radio in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ofield Dukes describes his experiences working as assistant editor for the "Michigan Chronicle"
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ofield Dukes comments on the significance of the "Michigan Chronicle" to Detroit's black community
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ofield Dukes talks about serving as president of the young adult division of the Detroit Chapter of the NAACP
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ofield Dukes describes how he met the Gordy family
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ofield Dukes talks about black life and culture in Detroit, Michigan during the 1960s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ofield Dukes talks about being an usher at Detroit's Paradise Theater, and Paradise Valley
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ofield Dukes talks about the Idlewild, Michigan resort town
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ofield Dukes describes his appointment as Deputy Director of President Lyndon B. Johnson's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity & Plans for Progress
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ofield Dukes describes his responsibilities as Deputy Director of President Lyndon B. Johnson's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity & Plans for Progress
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ofield Dukes describes how President Lyndon B. Johnson brought African American leaders together
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ofield Dukes describes being hired to work for Vice President Hubert Humphrey
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ofield Dukes describes how Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara started an affirmative action program for the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ofield Dukes describes how President Lyndon B. Johnson gained support for Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ofield Dukes talks about the Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Ofield Dukes describes President Lyndon B. Johnson's final meeting with black newspaper editors in 1968, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ofield Dukes describes President Lyndon B. Johnson's final meeting with black newspaper editors in 1968, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ofield Dukes talks about President Lyndon B. Johnson's commitment to civil rights
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ofield Dukes talks about Vice President Hubert Humphrey's presidential campaign
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ofield Dukes describes starting his own public relations firm, Ofield Dukes & Associates
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ofield Dukes talks about having Motown as his first client at Ofield Dukes & Associates
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ofield Dukes describes his health issues caused by stress and lack of exercise
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ofield Dukes describes his work for Detroit Mayor Coleman Young's inauguration, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Ofield Dukes describes his work for Detroit Mayor Coleman Young's inauguration, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Ofield Dukes describes subletting his office to Alex Haley, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ofield Dukes describes subletting his office to Alex Haley, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Ofield Dukes describes how Alex Haley overcame depression
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Ofield Dukes describes how he became a member of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Ofield Dukes describes his work as a theatrical press agent for the Washington, D.C. production of "Bubbling Brown Sugar"
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Ofield Dukes describes representing boxing promoter Don King
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Ofield Dukes describes his work for the Washington Bullets after they won the 1978 NBA Finals, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Ofield Dukes describes his work for the Washington Bullets after they won the 1978 NBA Finals, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Ofield Dukes describes organizing the first Congressional Black Caucus dinner in 1972
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Ofield Dukes describes representing Coretta Scott King during her visit to South Africa to speak out against apartheid, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Ofield Dukes describes representing Coretta Scott King during her visit to South Africa to speak out against apartheid, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Ofield Dukes describes his role in facilitating Dr. Leon Sullivan's relationship with Vice President Hubert Humphrey and President Lyndon B. Johnson
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Ofield Dukes describes being hired to teach public relations at Howard University
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Ofield Dukes talks about winning the Public Relations Society of America's Golden Anvil Award, and being honored by HistoryMaker Cathy Hughes
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Ofield Dukes describes the evolution of the public relations field
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Ofield Dukes responds to a question about good and bad public relations
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Ofield Dukes talks about the significance of the public relations field
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Ofield Dukes describes what contributed to his success
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Ofield Dukes shares his hopes and concerns for the black community
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Ofield Dukes reflects upon his legacy and how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Ofield Dukes narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Ofield Dukes narrates his photographs, pt. 2