>CNN: Ellington becomes first African-American on U.S. Coin

>Washington (CNN)–Jazz legend Duke Ellington is the first African-American to appear on an American coin, the U.S. Mint says in introducing the latest in its line of state-themed quarters.

The District of Columbia commemorative quarter showing Ellington playing the piano will be introduced by U.S. Mint Director Ed Moy at a news conference Tuesday at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Ellington won the honor by a vote of D.C. residents, beating out abolitionist Frederick Douglass and astronomer Benjamin Banneker. Also on the coin is the phrase “justice for all.” The mint rejected the first inscription choice of D.C. voters, which was “taxation without representation,” in protest of the District’s lack of voting representation in Congress.

Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington received 13 Grammy Awards and was a pioneer in jazz, according to his official Web site.

Ellington was born in the District and composed more than 3,000 songs, including the notable “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing,” a song that helped usher in the swing era of jazz.

Ellington performed with other famous artists, including John Coltrane, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, and he traveled around the world with his orchestras.

I must say this is enough to make me become a coin collector!