Carl Talmadge “Duke” Washington first made his mark in Washington athletics at Pasco High School from 1948-1951. Washington was a three sport athlete, lettering in football, baseball and track. Most notably, Washington was the first black student-athlete ever selected for the All State football team in 1951 as well as the first black student-athlete to play in the state’s all-star football game.
Shortly after his career at Pasco, Washington accepted a football scholarship at Washington State University and became the third black athlete to play football for WSU and later in 1954, made history when he became the first black football player to compete in the Texas Memorial Stadium at the University of Texas. During his senior year at WSU, Washington received the J. Fred Bohler Inspirational Player award, the Inland Empire Athlete of the Year award from the Greater Spokane Sports Association and represented WSU on the West Team in the annual East-West Shrine Game in San Francisco.
After receiving a B.A. in Interior Design, Washington was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles, but later instead served two years in the U.S. army. He then returned to Washington where he received his teaching credentials and went on to establish a long time teaching and coaching career in the Seattle Public School system.
Washington was an inaugural member of Pasco’s Sports Hall of fame in 1996 and was inducted to both the Central Washington Sports Hall of Fame in 2004 and Washington State University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009.
Washington passed away in February of complications from pneumonia. He was 84 years old.