Richard T.W. Duke, Jr.

Richard T.W. Duke, Jr., Beta, 1877, Phi Alpha 1903-1904

Richard T.W. Duke, Jr., Beta, 1877, Phi Alpha 1903-1904, was a prominent attorney, writer and poet. He was a gifted orator and received the Thomas Jefferson Prize for the best essay in 1872. Although the practice of law became his career, Duke wrote prose
and poetry the rest of his life and was published in the New York Herald and such magazines as Century, Lippincott’s and Illustrated American.

Brother Duke was a business and civic leader. He joined his father in the law firm of Duke and Duke (a firm that continued for more than 100 years). He served on the Board of the University of Virginia Alumni Association and the state Democratic Committee. In 1886-1891, he served as judge of the Corporation Court (now called the Circuit Court) and as the Commonwealth’s attorney from 1916-1920. He served on a number of corporate
boards and as editor in chief for two decades of the Virginia Law Journal.

He was also a mainstay for many years of the Beta chapter at the University of Virginia
and hosted numerous Zete visitors to Charlottesville at his family estate, “Sunny Side.”
Brother Duke’s brother, three sons and two nephews were members of the Zeta Psi
chapter at the University of Virginia. The “Sunny Side” property is now the site of the
University of Virginia’s Law and Business schools.