DuLaurence, known as ‘Duke’ to his friends, began his radio career at WONN at the age of 16. That was in 1959. His first air shift was Sunday mornings, which usually featured religious tapes, some news, the Sunday church service, etc.
After graduating from Lakeland High School, he attended community college in Ft. Myers and worked for two years at WINK AM/FM/TV there as an announcer, audio engineer, and promotion manager. Then it was on to WRUF in Gainesville while attending the University of Florida. He graduated in 1966 with a BS in Journalism.
‘Duke’ also entered the U.S. Army that year and was eventually assigned to the headquarters of Armed Forces Radio Saigon. At the end of his military service in 1972, he was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal, Vietnam, and the Army Commendation Medal, U.S. Army Recruiting Broadcast Group, Ft. Meade, Maryland.
With his military obligation behind him, the Lakeland native embarked on an ad agency career in Milwaukee, WI. After enduring two cold winters, he moved back to the Sunshine State and settled in St. Petersburg. The bulk of his career was spent as a respected advertising executive with the Louis Benito Advertising firm in Tampa.
In 1989, the Interpublic Group out of New York bought the ad agency and the Tampa Bay Advertising Federation awarded ‘Duke’ the Silver Medal. With the sale of the agency, he was able to achieve his goal - to retire by the age of 50. After retiring, he did a lot of consulting work, not because he had to, but because he enjoyed it. In 2001, he built a home on Anna Maria Island, where he was an ongoing City Commissioner.
DuLaurence ‘Duke’ Miller passed away from pancreatic cancer on June 24, 2016 at his summer home in Asheville, NC. He was 73.
1959 - 1961 WONN (On Air Personality)
1965 - 1965 WONN (Program Director)