With the passing away of Theodore (Ted) R. Hudson on April 27 at the age of 99, the Ellington community lost an important member and a good friend to many of us. He was a wonderful person and a true gentleman.

In his gentle way, Ted was always there to give a helping hand when one needed a piece of information on Duke Ellington, help to open doors to archives in Washington D.C. or photos from Ellington meetings and conferences.

He had a distinguished academic career and was Professor of English at the Howard University in Washington D.C. for many years with Afro-American literature as a speciality.

Ted was one of the pillars of Chapter 90 of the Duke Ellington Society in Washington as its vice-president and editor of its newsletter for many years.

When the Ellington conferences got off the ground in 1983, he also became a regular participant in and a presenter at many of them. His presentations often reflected his commitment to the black cause and his knowledge of Afro American literature.

Here are two examples of Ted’s presentations at Ellington conferences. But there are others on the website.

At Ellington ’93 in New York, his topic was Toward an Ellington Aesthetic.

And at Ellington ’94 in Stockholm, his presentation was on Ellington’s childhood in Washington D.C. or rather the racial, religious and educational and social  settings in which he grew up.


Ted, thank you for what you have given us. We will miss you.

Leave a Reply