James Buchanan Duke (1856-1925)

James B. or "Buck" Duke, Founding Partner of the American Tobacco Company

Associated Houses

Rough Point


James B. Duke House




He inherited a very successful tobacco company which he re-organised into the American Tobacco Company of which he was the first president. He and his brother also established Duke Power and Duke Energy. In 1918, he came in at 23rd (tied with Jacob Schiff, George Eastman, Pierre S. Du Pont, Louis F. Swift, Julius Rosenwald, Mrs. Lawrence Lewis and Henry Phipps) on the first ever Forbes Rich List with an estimated personal fortune of $50-million. By the time if his death in 1925, his fortune had grown to allow him to leave $40 million to establish Duke University and his remaining $60 million was left to his only daughter, Doris.   
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 17/10/2018 and last updated on 28/02/2023.