David Ernest Duke was born July 1, 1950 in Tulsa, Oklahoma to David H. Duke and Alice Maxine Crick. His father was an engineer for Shell Oil, and the family moved around frequently as needed with his father’s job. The family eventually settled in Louisiana.
In 1974, David Duke married Chloê Hardin, whom he had met in college while working in the White Youth Alliance. They have two daughters together. In 1984, David and Chloê divorced. The rumor was that she had finally had enough of David’s womanizing. She moved to West Palm Beach, Florida where her parents lived, and later married a Klan friend of David’s.
As of 2009, David Duke give his residence as Salzburg, Austria, where he runs an internet business. Of his Austrian residency, Mr. Duke has said:
“I’m not in Austria for any political activities. I just come to Austria to relax – the mountains are beautiful. The Austrian Alps are just beautiful. There’s beauty all over the world.”
In May 2009, Mr. Duke issued a statement denying that his residence is in Austria, stating that he is a resident of Mandeville, Louisiana, where he says he is registered as a taxpayer in the city of Mandeville, state of Louisiana, United Sates of America.
1974- Graduated from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge
1971- Went to Laos for 10 weeks to teach English to Laotian military officers. He was fired from his job for drawing a Molotov Cocktail on the blackboard.
He claimed to have served on cargo flights for Air America. However, his claims of serving in Vietnam were refuted, and has no connections to the military or CIA.
On The Issues
- Opposes Israel- Mr. Duke is a strong adversary of Zionism, as well as what he claims to be “Jewish control of the Federal Reserve Bank, the federal government, and the media.”
- Anti-Immigration- both legal and illegal
- Stands for preserving what he labels “Western culture, traditionalist Christian family values, strict Constitutionalism”
- Wants to abolish the Internal Revenue Service
- Wants voluntary racial segregation
- Avid supporter of white separatism
1964- David Duke joined the Ku Klux Klan (KKK)
1970- Formed a white student group called the White Youth Alliance, which was affiliated with the National Socialist White People’s Party
1970- Demonstrated in a Nazi uniform to protest William Kunstler’s (a board member of the the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the co-founder of the Law Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) appearance at Tulane University in New Orleans
Was notorious for holding parties and picket while wearing a Nazi uniform on the anniversary of Adolph Hitler’s birth.
Mr. Duke describes himself as a racial realist, stating that “all people have a basic human right to preserve their own heritage.”
Influential People In His Life
William Pierce, leader of the white supremacist group National Alliance
Political Candidacies and Affiliations
1975- Ran for Louisiana State Senate as a Democrat
1979- Ran for 10th District Senate Senate as a Democrat
1988- Ran in the Democratic primaries for President. He failed to win on the Democratic ticket; he then sought to gain the nomination from the Populist Party, where he was successful. With this success, he appeared on the ballot for President in 11 states and was a write-in candidate in a few other states.
1988- Changed his political affiliation from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party
1989- Ran for Louisiana State Representative in District 89 as a Republican- was successful in this race
1990- Ran for U.S. Senate as a Republican- unsuccessful
1991- Ran for Governor of Louisiana as a Republican- unsuccessful
1992- Republican Presidential Primaries- unsuccessful
1996- U.S. Senate- unsuccessful
1999- U.S. Representative in a Special Election to replace Bob Livingston. Ran as a Republican- unsuccessful. Now U.S. Senator David Vitter won this election before later becoming a U.S. Senator.
1987- Accused of a fund-raising scam when he allegedly conducted a direct-mail appeal using the identity and mailing-list of the Georgia Forsyth County Defense League without permission.
December 2002- Mr. Duke plead guilty to felony charges of filing a false tax return. Four months later he was sentenced to 15 months in prison, and served his time in Big Spring, Texas. He was also fined $10,000, ordered to cooperate with the Internal Revenue Service, and to pay money still owed for his 1998 taxes. After his release in May 2004, he said that his decision to take the plea bargain was motivated by the bias that he perceived in the United States federal court system and not his guilt. He said he felt the charges were contrived to derail his political career and discredit him to his followers, and that he took the safe route by pleading guilty and receiving a mitigated sentence, rather than pleading not guilty and potentially receiving the full sentence.
April 24, 2009- While in the Czech Republic promoting his book My Awakening, Mr. Duke was arrested on suspicion of “denying or approving of the Nazi genocide and other Nazi crimes” and “promotion of movements seeking suppression of human rights,” which are crimes in the Czech Republic punishable by up to three years’ imprisonment. He was released in the early morning hours on April 25, 2009, on the condition that he leave the country by midnight that same day. The charges were later dropped, due to what the Prosecutor for Prague said was no evidence that David Duke had committed any crime.
What Other’s Have To Say About Him
Ron Gomez, a Louisiana State Representative from Lafayette, said that as a short-term legislator David Duke was
“so single minded, he never really became involved in the nuts and bolts of House rules and parliamentary procedure. It was just that shortcoming that led to the demise of most of his attempts at lawmaking.”
Mr. Gomez also stated that David Duke’s
“tenure in the House was short and uninspired. Never has anyone parlayed an election by such a narrow margin to such a minor position to such international prominence. He has run for numerous other positions without success but has always had some effect, usually negative, on the outcome.”
In regards to Mr. Duke’s past, Mr. Gomez said
Duke’s “new message was that he had left the Klan, shed the Nazi uniform he had proudly worn in many previous appearances and only wanted to serve the people. He eliminated his high-octane anti-Semitic rhetoric. He was particularly concerned with the plight of ‘European-Americans.’ He never blatantly spoke of race as a factor but referred to the ‘growing underclass.’ He used the tried and true demagoguery of class envy to sell his message: excessive taxpayers’ money spent on welfare, school busing practices, affirmative action… and set-aside programs. He also embraced a subject near and dear to every Jefferson Parish voter, protection of the homestead exemption.”
Gideon Rachman wrote a 2006 editorial where he recalled interviewing Mr. Duke’s 1990 campaign manager who said,
“The Jews just aren’t a big issue in Louisiana. We keep telling David, stick to attacking the blacks. There’s no point in going after the Jews, you just piss them off and nobody here cares about them anyway.”
In regards to his 1999 run in the special election for U.S. Representative, Republican Party Chairman Jim Nicholson said:
“There is no room in the party of Lincoln for a Klansman like David Duke.”
One legislative issue proposed by David Duke was that welfare recipients be required to take drug tests to prove they are drug-free in order to receive state and federal benefits. This proposed bill failed to pass.
Another piece of legislation proposed by David Duke was a bill that prohibited movie producers or book publishers from compensating jurors for accounts of their court experiences. This bill did pass, and as fellow Louisiana State Representative Ron Gomez recalls, this was the only bill every proposed by Mr. Duke that did pass.
His Critics Take A Stand
Due to Mr. Duke’s views, many of his critics- including Republicans- formed the Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism. The coalition sought to direct media attention to David Duke’s statements of hostility to blacks and Jews.
Rejected By The Republican Party
The Republican Party rejected David Duke as a candidate in the 1991 Governor’s race, but that did not stop him from running on the Republican ticket. In the open primary, former Governor Edwin Edwards had the most votes, David Duke came in second with 32% of the votes, and incumbent Buddy Roemer came in third with 27% of the votes. That left Governor Edwards and David Duke to face each other in a runoff, and Roemer’s bid for re-election over.
There were a number of core constituents who were avid supporters who voted for David Duke; there were also some who voted for him as a “protest vote” to register dissatisfaction with Louisiana’s establishment politicians. David Duke said he was “the spokesman for the White majority.”
The Louisiana Coalition against Racism and Nazism protested the election of Mr. Duke as governor. One outspoken member of the coalition was Beth Rickey, a moderate member of the Louisiana Republican State Central Committee. She began to follow Mr. Duke, recording his speeches to expose any instances of racism and neo-Nazism. It was during this time that he took Ms. Rickey to lunch, introduced her to his daughter, talked to her on the phone late at night, and tried to convince her that he was a mainstream conservative in the mold of Ronald Reagan.
Between the primary and the runoff, called the “general election” under Louisiana election rules (in which all candidates run on one ballot, regardless of party), white supremacist organizations from around the country contributed to his campaign fund. He was also endorsed by the black civil rights figure James Meredith.
David Duke- and Louisiana politics yet again, received national media attention.
Only In Louisiana
The 1991 Governor’s race brought out the twisted humor in The Bayou State. Campaign bumper stickers became popular, with such messages as:
“Vote for the Crook. It’s Important.”
“Vote for the Lizard, Not the Wizard.”
When Governor Edwards was asked by a reporter what he needed to do to win, Governor Edwards smiled and replied: “Stay alive.”
Governor Edwards won the election, though exit polls show that David Duke won 55% of the white vote.
1992- The same year he ran for the Republican nomination for President, a film was released in which David Duke’s appeal among some white voters was investigated. The movie, titled, Backlash: Race and the American Dream, examined the issues of Duke’s platform, his use of black crime, welfare, and affirmative action and white supremacy.
2004- David Duke was the head advisor for the campaign of Roy Armstrong for the U.S. House of Representatives. Republican Bobby Jindal won the seat, and later went on to become the current Governor of Louisiana.
Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
1974- David Duke founded the Louisiana-based Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (KKKK), not long after graduating from LSU. He became Grand Wizard of the KKKK. Some time later, Thomas Robb, one of David Duke’s followers, changed the title of Grand Wizard to National Director, and replaced the Klan’s white robes with business suits. It was during this time that David Duke first received public attention as he attempted to market himself as a new brand of Klansman: well-groomed, engaged, and professional.
David Duke sought to reform the KKK organization, promoting nonviolence and legality, and, for the first time in the Klan’s history, women were accepted as equal members. Catholics were also encouraged to apply for membership. David Duke repeatedly insisted that the Klan was “not anti-black”, but rather “pro-white” and “pro-Christian.”
1980- David Duke left the KKK and formed the National Association for the Advancement of White People (NAAWP)
May 20, 2004- The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was outraged that David Duke had chosent New Orleans as the city to host his International NAAWP Conference during the same time as the NAACP’s Big Easy Rally to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling.
Ernst Zündel and the Zundelsite
David Duke supports Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel, a German who lived in Canada. After Zündel was deported from Canada to Germany and imprisoned on charged of inciting the masses to ethnic hatred, Mr. Duke referred to Mr. Zündel as a “political prisoner.”
Interregional Academy of Personnel Management
Mr. Duke received an honorary doctorate from the Ukrainian Interregional Academy of Personnel Management (MAUP)
September 2005- He received a degree in History from the Academy. Mr. Duke’s doctoral thesis was entitled “Zionism as a Form of Ethnic Supremacism”.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, MAUP is the main source of anti-semitic activity and publishing in Ukraine. The League has described MAUP as a “University of Hate”.
The MAUP’s “anti-Semitic actions” were “strongly condemned” by Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk, various Jewish interests and anti-racist organizations.
David Duke has taught an international relations and a history course at MAUP.
New Orleans Protocol
2002- Mr. Duke presented a for peace within the “European Nationalists” movement in an attempt to unity within the group that had occurred after the death of William Pierce, who was the leader of the white separatist National Alliance organization. His proposal was accepted, and is now known as the New Orleans Protocol (NOP). The agreement pledges followers to a pan-European outlook, recognizing national and ethnic allegiance, but stressing the value of all European peoples. There are three provisions:
- “Zero tolerance for violence.”
- “Honorable and ethical behavior in relations with other signatory groups. This includes not denouncing others who have signed this protocol. In other words, no enemies on the right.”
- “Maintaining a high tone in our arguments and public presentations.”
In 2004, after being released from prison for tax fraud, Mr. Duke organized a weekend gathering of “European Nationalists” in Kenner, Louisiana, seeking to achieve this goal. Mr. Duke and five other people within the white separatist movement.
June 3, 2005- David Duke co-chaired a conference named “Zionism As the Biggest Threat to Modern Civilization” in Ukraine, which was sponsored by the Interregional Academy of Personnel Management. The conference was attended by several notable Ukrainian public figures and politicians.
June 8–10, 2006- David Duke spoke at the international “White World’s Future” conference in Moscow.
December 11–13, 2006- David Duke spoke at the International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust in Tehran, Iran, where he stated that “The Holocaust is the device used as the pillar of Zionist imperialism, Zionist aggression, Zionist terror and Zionist murder.”
“My Awakening: A Path to Racial Understanding” – his autobiography, which was published in 1998. Mr. Duke’s social philosophies are defined in this book, especially his reasoning behind racial separation. Here is a quote from the book:
We (Whites) desire to live in our own neighborhoods, go to our own schools, work in our own cities and towns, and ultimately live as one extended family in our own nation. We shall end the racial genocide of integration. We shall work for the eventual establishment of a separate homeland for African Americans, so each race will be free to pursue its own destiny without racial conflicts and ill will.
Of the book, Mr. Duke said the book
“has become the most important book in the entire world in the effort to awaken our people for our heritage and freedom.”
“Jewish Supremacism: My Awakening on the Jewish Question” - published in the United States in 2004. The books intent is to “examine and document elements of ethnic supremacism that have existed in the Jewish community from historical to modern times.”
Of his two books, David Dukes says they
“have become two of the two most influential and important books in the world.”
“Finders-Keepers: Finding and Keeping the Man You Want” published in 1976 under the pseudonym Dorothy Vanderbilt and James Konrad. It is a self-help book for women to raise money. A reporter with The Times-Picayune read what has become a rare book, and has said after tracing the proceeds, they all go back to David Duke. He appears to have compiled all the information in the book from women’s self-help magazines. The book contains tips on relationship issues, diet, fashion, cosmetics, and sexual advise. It also includes specific advice on vaginal exercises, fellatio, and anal sex.
1995- Don Black and Chloê Hardin, David Duke’s ex-wife, start a small online bulletin board (BBS) called Stormfront. Today, Stormfront has become a prominent online forum for white nationalism, Neo-Nazism, hate speech, racism, and antisemitism. David Duke re-posts articles from his own website. He has also had online broadcasts, where he polls forum members for opinions and questions.
February 5, 2002- On his Internet radio show, David Duke said that Ariel Sharon was “the world’s worst terrorist”. He also said that Mossad and Zionists was involved in the September 11, 2001 attacks on America “to reduce sympathy for Muslim nations in the West”. In this broadcast, he said that the number of Israelis killed in the September 11 attack was “lower than it would be under normal circumstances”. He believes that the Israeli security services had prior knowledge of the attack.
November 24, 2005- David Duke visited Damascus, Syria, where he spoke at a rally which was broadcast on Syrian television. In his speech, he referred to Israel as a ‘war-mongering country”, and said that Zionists
“occupy most of the American media and now control much of the American government. It’s not just the west Bank of Palestine, it is not just the Golan Heights that are occupied by the Zionists, but Washington D.C. and New York and London and many other capitals of the world. Your fight for freedom is the same as our fight for freedom.”
In an interview after speaking at the rally, Mr. Duke said that Israel “makes the Nazi state look very, very moderate.”
A member of the Syrian parliament later said that David Duke’s visit gave Syrians a “new and very positive view of the average American.”
October 2005- He appeared on a Lafayette, Louisiana-based TV show, which is hosted and produced by a Palestinian-American, Current Issues, where he said that Jewish extremists “are responsible for undermining the morality of America and are attempting to “wash the world in blood.”
Grooming For Politics
In 1990, syndicated columnist Jack Anderson stated that David Duke has done “everything to make himself look better to the voters, including plastic surgery”. Mr. Duke addresses this issue in his book, My Awakening, writing that he had had “reconstructive surgery”on his nose, which had been broken many times.
Professor Lawrence N. Powell, who teaches at Tulane University in the history department and who was also a founding member of Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism, wrote the book Troubled Memory: Anne Levy, the Holocaust and David Duke’s Louisiana. The book “connects the prewar and wartime experiences of Jewish survivors to the lives they built in the United States”. It is the “story of Anne Skorecki Levy, a Holocaust survivor who transformed the horrors of her childhood into a passionate mission to defeat the political menace of reputed neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.” Troubled Memory: Anne Levy, the Holocaust and David Duke’s Louisiana won three awards.
Possible 2012 Presidential Campaign
According to David Duke, thousands of Tea Partiers have urged him to run for president in 2012. It appears that he is seriously considering entering the Republican Party primaries. He has released a video detailing his platform, pledging that as president he would stop all immigration to the US, including legal immigration, and says that he “will not let Israel or any nation dictate our foreign policy”. He says that he would be “willing to risk life and limb, endure the barbs of the media” to mount “the most honest campaign for president since the time of our Founding Fathers”.
However, it does not seem likely that David Duke will officially announce his candidacy for the presidency, as he has been legally disqualified from running for public office since 2002 as part of his guilty plea for tax evasion.
This author will now weigh in on the issue of David Duke running for President. I must admit this has been one of the most difficult profiles for me to write.
I was born and raised in Louisiana, so the name David Duke is not new to me at all. Even as a younger child I remember the controversy that prevailed when he ran for President in 1988. Unfortunately, he had a lot of people fooled at the beginning of his campaign. Thankfully, the full light of truth was shed on who this man is.
I cannot begin to tell you how horrified I was to read the headline that he was considering another run for office. It was not until I read the very last piece of information that I posted that I could breathe a sigh of relief. Thankfully, David Duke has been legally disqualified from running for public office as part of his guilty pleas for tax evasion. This is one issue we can put on the shelf and not worry about.
Until I read that vital piece of information, the one thing that kept going over and over in my mind was that if he does indeed run, we very well may see the beginning of the Second Civil War. Racial tension is already a critical issue in our nation. With a President who has made many racist comments, the last thing this nation needs is a white supremacist running for office. There would be no legitimate debate, it would simply be one racially charged attack after another.
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