Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame
H. BENJAMIN DUKE, JR., 1922 - 1996
Inducted into the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame 1996
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Ben, a Chicago import, and educated at Williams College, served with distinction in the Tenth Mountain Division, and moved to Colorado following his military service.
Ben was elected to the Board of Directors of Vail Associates in 1966 and served for nearly 20 years. Most notably he served as Chairman from 1983 to 1985. He was one of the first to prompt Vail to go for the 1989 World Alpine Ski Championship, and he assumed the chair of the finance committee for that event. At the time of his death, Ben was chair of the finance committee for the 1999 World Alpine Ski Championships as well. He also served on the board of the Vail Valley Foundation. Ben's greatest contribution to Vail was in making sure that Vail became family oriented providing something for everyone. He emphasized the importance of providing services such as ski school, children's programs and snow grooming.
As a competitor, he raced in the Rocky Mountain Division of USSA as well as in national events. In 1993 he took a third combined title in the national Masters races in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and in 1994 at Big Sky, Montana, he advanced to second overall at age 72.
One of Ben's greatest attributes was his support of family. He always attended and supported every ski event that his children and grandchildren competed in. To quote nominator Earl Clark, "Few have given of themselves so completely to the world of skiing and the ski industry as Ben! In spite of being deeply involved in the business world as a top level executive, he always found the time and energies to lend his skills wherever they were needed!"
To honor his relationship with the Tenth Mountain Division, Ben conceptualized and funded, with his wife Maud, the Tenth Mountain Room at the Denver Public Library. Ben was one of the founders of the Tenth Mountain Division Resource Center and tirelessly traveled the country promoting the importance of such an endeavor. He also served as a member of the Friends Foundation at the Library, and on the board of the Colorado Nature Conservancy.