Duke's passions varied wildly. Briefly a news correspondent in the 1940s, she also played jazz piano and learned to surf competitively. At her father's estate, Duke Farms, in Hillsborough Township, New Jersey, she created one of America's largest indoor botanical displays. She was also active in preserving more than 80 historic buildings in Newport, Rhode Island.

Twice divorced, Duke enjoyed a colorful private life that was seldom out of the gossip columns.

Her philanthropic work in AIDS research, medicine, and child welfare continued into her old age. Her estimated $1.3 billion fortune was largely left to charity. Duke's legacy is now administered by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, dedicated to medical research, prevention of cruelty to children and animals, the performing arts, wildlife and ecology.

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last updated 22 July 2020