The Duke Legacy
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Washington Duke is very young when he first realizes there is racial discrimination in the South. Living outside of Hillsboro, North Carolina, in the mid-1820s, he is one of ten children in a family that shares the wilderness with bears, rattlesnakes, and mountain lions. Washington learns about the world around him from his scholarly father, nurtures a compassion for others, and eventually grows into a man deeply troubled by the institution of slavery. Unaware of what awaits him, Washington is conscripted into the Confederate Army and reluctantly leaves his three-hundred-acre farm in 1864 to fight in the war. When the Civil War is over, Washington is left widowed, with nothing but his farm, two blind mules, a wagon load of tobacco, and his four children. Determined to rise from the rubble, Washington soon begins building the foundation for the Duke financial empire-although not without challenges. As Washington ages, his sons eventually capture his dream to establish Duke University. Even with the family's successes, though, there is tragedy and heartache; Washington's granddaughter, Doris, dies under suspicious circumstances in 1993 and her estate becomes embroiled in a legal battle. Based on a true story, this compelling and inspirational tale examines the life of a gentle giant and his descendants who together built a multibillion-dollar empire, numerous charitable foundations, and a renowned academic institution, proving that anyone can overcome adversity to achieve greatness.
iUniverse, 9781491726211, 402pp.
Publication Date: March 26, 2014