HISTORY PART ONE - an introduction

Over the years that our official Korla Pandit Website has been available to the world, we have heard from many fans, friends, and family members of Korla Pandit.

One such family member is St Louis Defense Attorney David de Clue, whose leisure hours away from the courtroom have been consumed for the past 30 years or so piecing together extensive geneological tracings, personal family interviews, official documents, and other material and information, all parts of a giant puzzle, the puzzle of his family's roots, a family which counts among its numbers many gifted members, important contributors to mankind, the family to whom the virtuoso Korla Pandit belongs.

The information which Mr. de Clue has so laboriously gathered irrefutably reveals Korla Pandit's total and complete evolution and life-journey, a fairy tale story best described in the words of Hans Christian Andersen, "Every man's life is a fairy tale written by God's finger." That quotation begs these words by Omar Khayyam from the Rubaiyat, "The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it."

With an ever-increasing barrage of irresponsibly-fabricated, sloppy, half-true "reportage" bordering on sensationalism, poison-penned under the guise of "journalism," encapsuling Korla Pandit's "life" appearing on the Internet and elsewhere, it has become evident to us that our official Korla Pandit Website is the one place where the accurate, completely factual documentation of Korla's intriguing and very dramatic time on earth belongs.

To set the record straight then, we bring you Korla's story in its entirety, an incredibly-dedicated documentation establishing Korla's great significance as an artist, pioneer of early television programming, and descendant of the De Clue family lineage.

We are grateful to David de Clue for providing us with his (copyrighted) biography of Korla Pandit, and granting permission for us to include it here on the official Korla Pandit website.

First, however, meet David de Clue, before you meet again - for the first time - Korla Pandit in the second part of the History.


DAVID DE CLUE - an introduction

David Marshall-Rutledge de Clue is a 35-year resident of Creve Coeur (St. Louis County), Missouri, who is an attorney, genealogist and amateur photographer. He has spent over 30 years researching his paternal Duclos/DeClue and Langford/Lankford lines of his family, and his maternal Rutledge side. With over 1,000 members of the family charted, his Duclos line has been traced back to former slaves in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, in 1776. His Lankford line has been traced back to the Caucasian line of Langford's who came to Virginia, from England, in 1645. His Rutledge roots date back to the mid-1700s, as Melungeons from the hills of Tennessee, who made the trek to "Indian Territory" (now Oklahoma) during the Great Migration. Though his research continues, it is believed that his Duclos roots extend to Senegal, in Western Africa, via the French slave trade to Haiti and through The Middle Passage to New Orleans. It is the final aspect of his family history research that he hopes to one day verify.

Mr. de Clue was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1957, where he lived until 1969, when the family relocated to St. Louis. Throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, his travels included most every state in the U.S., Canada, England, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Germany, Russia, Finland, Venezuela, Columbia, Panama, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Egypt. After completing high school (1975), he attended the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, where he received his B.A. in Spanish (1979) with a minor in Economics. He went on to attend Georgetown University Law Center (1981) in Washington, D.C., and received his J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law (1989), in Coral Gables, Florida.

He has been the Vice-President of the family business, Eye & Vision Care, Ltd., in St. Louis, where his father, Dr. James Allen De Clue, has practiced optometry for over 20 years. He is a former assistant prosecuting attorney from Jefferson City (Cole County), Missouri; Hillsboro (Jefferson County), Missouri; and, the City of St. Louis. He has been in private practice since 1998, and is also licensed in Washington, D.C.

Throughout the decades he has had articles published in newspapers in Philadelphia, Miami and St. Louis, as well as a law review article in the St. Louis University Public Law Review (12 St. Louis U. L. Rev. 505, #2, Oct. 1993). From 1990 - 2000 he published The Missouri DNA Update, a comprehensive outline of all DNA cases throughout the U.S. for Missouri prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys. Since 1995 he has published The DeClue/Lankford Family Newsletter, an annual copyrighted family history update, which will eventually become a book to be entitled, Dear Lizzie.

His years of family history research have uncovered numerous well-known, and sometimes famous, immediate family members and cousins, including Anita Evelyn DeClue (educator), Grace Shropshire (educator). Alfred Rutledge (former Mayor of McCloud, Oklahoma), Korla Pandit (pianist/entertainer/television & radio personality), John Anderson Lankford (the "dean" of African-American architects), Ethel Hedgemon-Lyle (founder of the "AKA" Sorority), Ron Townsend (of "The Fifth Dimension" singing group), John Anderson Lankford (ragtime composer/musician), Harvey McKinley Lankford (bugler for Russell Bros. Circus), Arthur Edward Lankford (architect), Clinton Stevens Harris (architect), Robert C. Bumbary (architect), Gregory Cloud (professional photographer), Bishop Henry McNeal Turner (12th A.M.E. bishop), James Thomas "J. T." Brown (architect), Frances Redd (actress), Adrian Pepo (of "The Platters" singing group), Ronald Langston (Bush Administration appointee and head of the Small Business Administration), Lt. Col. Michael Anderson (astronaut; perished aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia), Ray Lankford (baseball player), Rev. Ernest S. Redd (pastor, Second Baptist Church, Columbia, MO; 8th & Center Street Baptist Church, Hannibal, MO), and war veterans from every single war in which the U.S. has been involved, since and including the Civil War. His great-great grandfather, Jean Baptiste Joseph "Joe" Duclos, and his brother, Etienne "Acan" Duclos, were Union officers in the Civil War. His uncle, Frank Burnam DeClue, was part of the Normandy Invasion of World War II, and recently, one of his cousins was called to active duty in Iraq. Mr. de Clue, however, came along during the time period when the draft had ended, and selective service had yet to be implemented.

For more information on the African-American DeClue, Lankford or Rutledge lines, Mr. de Clue can be contacted at sitzar@gmail.com

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