David Duke, perhaps America's most well-known racist and anti-Semite, promotes anti-Semitic and white supremacist views as the leader of the white supremacist European American Unity and Rights Organization, as a writer of anti-Semitic tracts, and, in recent years, as an international figure who has promoted his anti-Jewish ideology in Europe and the Middle East, devoting particular attention to Russia and the Ukraine.
Born: July 1, 1950|
Residence: Mandeville, Louisiana
Organization(s): European-American Unity and Rights Organization (founder, 2001), National Organization for European American Rights (founder, 2000); National Association for the Advancement of White People (founder, 1980); Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (founder, 1974)
Education: BA, Louisiana State University
Ideology: Anti-Semitism, White Supremacy
Extremist Affiliations: Don Black, who runs Stormfront, the largest extremist Internet forum; Edward Fields, an anti-Semitic propagandist who merged his newsletter with Duke’s in 2008; and a variety of anti-Semites and white supremacists in the United States and abroad, who speak at Duke’s conferences and invite him on their radio/television shows for interviews.
Criminal Record: Imprisoned for 13 months in 2003-2004 on federal mail fraud and tax evasion convictions relating to contributions to his political campaigns
Political campaigns: In 1989, Duke won a seat representing Metairie, Louisiana, in the Louisiana State Legislature. Five unsuccessful political campaigns followed: a 1990 bid for the U.S. Senate, a 1991 campaign for the governorship of Louisiana, a bid for the Presidency in 1992, a Senatorial race in 1996, and a 1998 attempt to win a Congressional seat in Louisiana. In both the 1990 and 1991 races, he attracted a majority of Louisiana's white voters.
Works: David Duke Report newsletter; Jewish Supremacism (2002); My Awakening (1998); African Atto (1973, as Mohammad X); Finders Keepers (1976, as Dorothy Vanderbilt)
Duke has been active in the white supremacy movement for over 40 years. In the last two decades, he has tried to position himself as a new “respectable racist.” He pioneered the now common effort on the far right to camouflage racist ideas in hot-button issues like affirmative action and immigration, successfully appealing to race and class resentments. He was instrumental in the Klan resurgence of the 1970s and was one of the first neo-Nazi and Klan leaders to stop the use of Nazi and Klan regalia and ritual, as well as other traditional displays of race hatred, and to cultivate media attention. Duke continues to write articles and books, to convene conferences, and to speak publicly for the purposes of demonizing Jews and other minorities.