Duane Julius Thomas (born June 21, 1947) is a former American football running back in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins. He played college football at West Texas State University.
Thomas in 1972
|No. 33, 47|
|Born:||June 21, 1947|
|Height:||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight:||220 lb (100 kg)|
|High school:||Dallas (TX) Lincoln|
|College:||West Texas State|
|NFL Draft:||1970 / Round: 1 / Pick: 23|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Thomas was an exceptional running back at its Lincoln High School in the mid-1960s. He continued his success at West Texas State University in Canyon, playing fullback alongside Mercury Morris, while running through defenses for Joe Kerbel's teams. After a freshman year with just 10 carries for 42 yards, he led the country with 7.2 yards per carry on still-limited duty his sophomore season (83 carries for 596 yards). After 113 carries for 708 yards his junior year, he broke through his senior year with 199 carries for 1,072 yards and 10 touchdowns. He ended his college career with 396 carries for 2,376 yards (then 2nd all-time to Bill Cross, currently 8th).
In 1970, he played in the Coaches All-America Game.
Thomas was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the first round (23rd overall) of the 1970 NFL draft. As a rookie, even though he didn't start until the fifth game of the season, he led the team in rushing, while finishing eighth in the newly merged 26-team league with 803 rushing yards (second in the National Football Conference behind NFL rushing champion Larry Brown of the rival Washington Redskins) on 151 carries (a league-leading 5.3 yards per carry) and 5 touchdowns. At the end of the season, already being compared to Jim Brown, he was named the NFL rookie of the year. In playoff wins over Detroit and San Francisco, Thomas rushed for 135 and 143 yards, becoming the first rookie with two 100-yard rushing playoff games.
During the 1971 offseason, because of a contract dispute (he requested for his 3-year contract to be rewritten) and refusing to report to training camp, he was traded to the New England Patriots, alongside Halvor Hagen and Honor Jackson, in exchange for Carl Garrett and the Patriots' No. 1 draft choice in the 1972 NFL draft. Within a week, because of problems with the Patriots and head coach John Mazur, in an unprecedented move NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle voided part of the trade, sending Thomas and Garrett back to their original teams. The Patriots kept Hagen and Jackson in exchange for a second (#35-Robert Newhouse) and third round (possibly 1972 #64-Mike Keller) draft choices in the 1972 NFL draft. Thomas returned to the Cowboys, but decided to keep silent all season long, refusing to speak to teammates, management, and the media.
In October 1971, Thomas scored the first touchdown in the new Texas Stadium playing against the Patriots. That same season, Thomas led the league in rushing touchdowns (11) and total touchdowns (13). He also was named All-Pro and led the Cowboys with 95 rushing yards and a touchdown in Dallas' first franchise Super Bowl victory, a 24–3 win over the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VI. Before taking part in Super Bowl VI, Thomas was asked about playing in the ultimate game. His response was: "If it's the ultimate game, how come they're playing it again next year?". In a postgame interview following that Super Bowl, CBS television announcer Tom Brookshier noted Thomas' speed and asked him, rhetorically, "Are you that fast?" Thomas responded, "Evidently". According to Hunter S. Thompson: "All he did was take the ball and run every time they called his number – which came to be more and more often, and in the Super Bowl Thomas was the whole show."
Thomas was reportedly voted as the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player by an overwhelming margin. Thomas, however, had boycotted the media throughout the season as well, and Larry Klein, editor of Sport, which presented the award, didn't know how Thomas would act at a banquet in New York. With this in mind Klein announced quarterback Roger Staubach as the winner.
In 2004, he was inducted into the Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame.
Thomas began his stint with the Chargers by earning a 20-day suspension for failing to report to the team, and matters escalated from there. He never played a game for the Chargers, as the team placed him on the reserve list, making him ineligible for the rest of the 1972 season.
On July 20, 1973, the Chargers traded Thomas to defending NFC champion Washington in exchange for the Redskins' first draft choice (#22-Mike Williams) in the 1975 NFL draft and their second draft choice (#46-David Hill) in 1976.
In August 1975, Thomas was signed by the Hawaiians of the World Football League to replace an injured Calvin Hill, although the Philadelphia Bell claimed they owned Thomas negotiating rights after being released by the Washington Redskins. He was with the team for only 1½ months and was released in early October, just weeks before the league folded.
In March 1979, Thomas was signed by the Green Bay Packers, but was waived before the season started. He finished his NFL career with 2,038 rushing yards, 453 carries and 21 touchdowns. He also caught 38 passes for 297 yards and 3 touchdowns.
With the help of freelance sportswriter Paul Zimmerman in 1989, Thomas wrote Duane Thomas and the Fall of America's Team, a memoir of Thomas' time playing for the Dallas Cowboys. A reviewer of the book commented, "The title implies, although the text nowhere suggests, that there is a relation between the fate of running back Thomas and the decline in the fortunes of the Dallas Cowboys. Thomas, when he appeared on the professional football scene in 1970, was acclaimed as an outstanding player but within two years was stigmatized as an "emotionally disturbed misfit", largely because of his periods of total silence.
Before he was out of football, Thomas got a job at Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation in the Legal Department and decided to go back into football. He was called by the Green Bay Packers and went there to try out, but they used him mainly as a blocking back during that preseason and he did not make the team. In August 2008, Thomas visited the Cowboys at their training camp in Oxnard, California.
In 2006, Thomas was one of three Cowboys (along with Bob Lilly and Roger Staubach) interviewed for 1971 Cowboys edition of America's Game: The Super Bowl Champions, the NFL Network anthology series chronicling each Super Bowl champion.
The 2010 book The Ones Who Hit the Hardest by Chad Millman and Shawn Coyne on the Pittsburgh Steelers and their great 1970s rivalry with the Dallas Cowboys offers a critical assessment of Thomas. They note that Thomas was highly regarded by the Cowboys when he first arrived, and that he was an avid team player who worked very hard and produced spectacular results on the field. Unfortunately an agent who Thomas contracted to look after his financial matters so he could concentrate on football, pocketed large amounts of his cash and failed to cover his bills. A looming divorce also added to the runner's woes. Thomas' sterling play however helped Dallas to Super Bowl V where they faced the Baltimore Colts. In a game marked by poor Dallas performance and turnovers, (including 10 penalties for more than 100 yards) the authors hold that Thomas fumbled in the third quarter, 2 yards shy of a touchdown, in a disputed referee call. Coach Tom Landry, the authors contend, abandoned the running game in favor of action by quarterback Craig Morton. With plenty of time remaining, the Cowboy offense stalled, and Morton threw three interceptions in the fourth quarter, dooming Dallas' chances of a win. After the lost game, Landry in public comments blamed the 3rd quarter fumble by Thomas as the reason for the loss. This embittered the running back intensely, who felt his 1,116 yards that year, and his scoring of the only Cowboy touchdown in the game deserved better. (The Millman & Coyne book is accurately described by one reviewer as "a history of the '70s Steelers." Whether or not it's accurate about the '70s Cowboys, and Thomas, is much debated by readers at several NFL-related Internet sites.)
Relations deteriorated after that, state Millman and Coyne, and Thomas resented Landry's perceived lack of appreciation the following year. The pending divorce, and looming IRS audits and claims for back taxes added further pressure on the 23-year-old running back. Thomas became dissatisfied with his salary and demanded a renegotiation. The authors however note that Thomas was not the only player to run into financial difficulties or attempt to modify his contract.
Thomas attempted to get football great Jim Brown to intervene on his behalf to no avail. In 1971, his bitterness exploded in a training camp press conference, in which he dared to rail against Landry and management. Rumors spread through training camp that Thomas and the Black Muslims were in sync to kidnap Tex Schramm, after observers noted a small dark man "with only one name" shadowing Thomas. The controversy churned with his trade to the Patriots and the subsequent return to the Cowboys. Thomas had alienated many of his teammates, nevertheless Landry generously took him back on the special teams where he performed well, and eased him back into the running back slot. His performance was better than ever, although he refused to speak to reporters (who dubbed him 'The Sphinx") or to shake hands with some teammates after making outstanding plays. His quality play however culminated in an excellent Super Bowl performance and likely MVP award, but this was denied due to his previous conduct. Millman and Coyne quote some Dallas players who still admired Thomas for standing up to management. Despite the victory, Thomas was traded to the San Diego Chargers in 1972, who later traded him to the Washington Redskins in 1973. The Cowboys did not win another Super Bowl until the coming of another running sensation, one Tony Dorsett. Dorsett claims that late one night early in his career he was at a house party when the doorbell rang. There, outside in the darkness stood the spectral figure of Duane Thomas. The ex-Cowboy favorite and the new sensation stared at one another for a long moment. Dorsett gestured, but no words were exchanged, only a brief nod, one running back to another. Then Thomas began to slowly melt back into the night, as mysteriously as he had come. Symbolically, it seemed, the torch had passed. As to his undoubted talent, Millman and Coyne maintain that Cowboy coach Landry learned to manage gifted players better, without heavy micro-management, as a result of Duane Thomas: "Landry had learned the hard Lesson with Duane Thomas. Sometimes you have to leave the gifted alone."
The 1970 Dallas Cowboys season was the team's 11th in the National Football League.
The Cowboys scored 299 points and allowed 221 points. For the fifth consecutive season, the Cowboys finished first in their division. In 1970, the club made its debut on Monday Night Football. The Cowboys lost to the St. Louis Cardinals 38–0. The Cowboys made it to their first Super Bowl and lost to the Baltimore Colts.1971 Dallas Cowboys season
The 1971 Dallas Cowboys season was the team's 12th in the National Football League and the first at the new Texas Stadium in suburban Irving, Texas. The club led the NFL with 406 points scored. Their defense allowed 222 points.
For the sixth consecutive season, the Cowboys had a first-place finish. They won their second-consecutive NFC championship, then defeated the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VI to capture their first Super Bowl championship. They were the first team from the NFC to win a Super Bowl since the 1970 merger of the National Football League and the American Football League, and subsequently, the first team from the NFC East division to win the title.1971 New England Patriots season
The 1971 New England Patriots season was the franchise's 2nd season in the National Football League and 12th overall. The 1971 season was the first that the team played as the New England Patriots, changing their name from the Boston Patriots, briefly to the Bay State Patriots before changing it again to the New England Patriots, in an effort to regionalize the franchise's equal distance from Boston and Providence.The Patriots finished the season with a record of six wins and eight losses, and finished third in the AFC East Division. It was the first season the Patriots played in Schaefer Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts after playing in three different stadiums the previous three seasons in Boston.
During training camp, the Dallas Cowboys traded disgruntled running back Duane Thomas to the Patriots for Carl Garrett and Halvor Hagen. Thomas became embroiled in a conflict with coach John Mazur, prompting Patriots general manager Upton Bell to request that Commissioner Pete Rozelle void the trade three days after it had been made. Rozelle granted Bell's request, and the traded players returned to where they had been prior to the deal.1971–72 NFL playoffs
The National Football League playoffs for the 1971 season began on December 25, 1971. The postseason tournament concluded with the Dallas Cowboys defeating the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VI, 24–3, on January 16, 1972, at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Like the previous NFL seasons, the home teams in the playoffs were decided based on a yearly divisional rotation, excluding the wild card teams who would always play on the road. It was the first time that the NFL scheduled games on Christmas Day, a decision that drew considerable criticism.1972 Dallas Cowboys season
The 1972 Dallas Cowboys season was their 13th in the league. The team failed to improve their previous output of 11–3, winning only ten games. They qualified for the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season but settled for the wildcard spot. A pre-season injury to quarterback Roger Staubach and the trade of Duane Thomas (both had been integral figures in the 1971 championship team) hindered the offense (mitigated somewhat since their replacements, Craig Morton and Calvin Hill, were former starters). In the divisional playoff round, Staubach came off the bench to engineer an improbable 30–28 comeback win over the 49ers (Dallas had trailed by 28–16 with less than 2 minutes to play). The win over the 49ers still ranks as one of the all-time great Cowboys wins. However, the momentum could not carry them to a victory over Washington in the NFC Championship game.1974 Dallas Cowboys season
The 1974 Dallas Cowboys season was their 15th in the league. The team failed to improve on their previous output of 10–4, winning only eight games. They failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in nine seasons and this marked the only season from 1966 to 1983 (18 seasons) that the Cowboys did not qualify.
The Cowboys began with a 1–4 start and although they went 7–2 afterwards, it was not enough to overcome the slow start.
The season featured one of the most memorable Thanksgiving Day games in Cowboys history. Trailing 16–3 in the second half (and having already lost quarterback Roger Staubach to injury), little used backup Clint Longley threw two touchdown passes to lead the team to a 24–23 victory over the Redskins at Texas Stadium.
1974 was also a season of transition; as it would be the final season of future Hall of Fame defensive tackle Bob Lilly. Also finishing their careers that season would be fullback Walt Garrison; and center Dave Manders. Also, this would be the final season for wide receiver Bob Hayes (who would finish his career with the San Francisco 49ers the following year); running back Calvin Hill (who departed for the Hawaiians of the World Football League); defensive end Pat Toomay (who left for the Buffalo Bills); guard John Niland (who left the following year for the Philadelphia Eagles) and quarterback Craig Morton (traded early in the season to the New York Giants) in a Cowboy uniform.Bill Thomas (American football)
William Jeffrey "Bill" Thomas (born August 7, 1949) is a former professional American football running back in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Oilers and Kansas City Chiefs. He was drafted by the Cowboys in the first round of the 1972 NFL Draft. He played college football at Boston College.Carl Garrett
Carl L. Garrett (born August 31, 1947) is a former American football halfback who began his professional career with the American Football League's Boston Patriots.
Carl Garrett caught 29 passes for 267 yards and two touchdowns in 1969, and ran the ball for over five yards per carry with 137 attempts for 691 yards and five touchdowns. He was the 1969 Sporting News ' AFL Rookie of the Year. He was also selected to the AFL All-Star team in 1969.
Garrett was involved in a highly unusual trade just prior to the 1971 season. The Patriots traded Garrett to the Dallas Cowboys for running back Duane Thomas. Shortly after the players reported to their new teams, the trade was rescinded, and Thomas returned to the Cowboys and Garrett to the Patriots. The Cowboys ultimately won the Super Bowl at the end of the 1971 season with Duane Thomas as their leading rusher in the game.Duane Peters
Duane Thomas Peters (born June 12, 1961), nicknamed "The Master of Disaster", is a punk rock singer/songwriter and professional skateboarder. Active since 1975, he is probably best known as the singer in the California punk rock band U.S. Bombs, which formed in 1993.Duane Thomas (boxer)
Duane Thomas (February 1, 1961 – June 2000), was an American professional boxer in the super welterweight (154 lb) division. He was born in Detroit, Michigan.Halvor Hagen
Halvor Reini Hagen (born February 4, 1947) is a former American football offensive lineman in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, and Buffalo Bills. He played college football at Weber State University and was drafted in the third round of the 1969 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys.Joe Kerbel
Joe E. Kerbel (c. 1921 – March 20, 1973) was an American football coach. He is the second winningest coach in West Texas A&M Buffaloes history.
After a successful coaching career at Bartlesville and Cleveland High School in Oklahoma, Kerbel became head coach at Breckenridge High School in 1952. Breckenridge had won its first 3A state title in 1951 under coach Cooper Robbins who had just left for Texas A&M, raising the expectations high for Kerbel. He did not disappoint, as he won two additional state championships in 1952 and 1954. He then left for Texas football powerhouse Amarillo High School, which had won four state championships under coaches Blair Cherry and Howard Lynch.
After coaching at Amarillo High School for three seasons, Kerbel became an assistant under DeWitt Weaver at Texas Tech University in 1957. He then took over a West Texas A&M football program in 1960 that had won just two games in two years under head coach Clark Jarnagin. Kerbel turned the program around, amassing a 68–42–1 record the next eleven years and winning two bowl games, the 1962 Sun Bowl and 1967 Junior Rose Bowl, along the way. Notable players for Kerbel included Stan Hansen, Mercury Morris, Duane Thomas, Jerry Don Logan and three-time All Texas Defensive Back, Thomas Krempasky. Kerbel retired in 1971 after the school chose not to renew his contract. He was succeeded by Gene Mayfield, a native of Quitaque in Briscoe County, Texas. Kerbel died of a heart attack at the age of 51.Lupe Aquino
Isaias Guadalupe "Lupe" Aquino (born January 23, 1963 in Chihuahua, Mexico) was a professional boxer (170 cm height) in the super welterweight (154 lb) division.
Aquino, known as "Lupe", turned pro in 1981 and won the WBC Light Middleweight Title in 1987 with a decision over Duane Thomas. He lost the title in his first defense via a close decision to Gianfranco Rosi. In 1988 Aquino took on John David Jackson for the inaugural WBO Light Middleweight Title. In the fight, Aquino was put down in 1st and retired after the 7th round. Aquino continued to fight until 1999 but never again challenged for a major title.Rocky Thompson (American football)
Ralph Gary "Rocky" Symonds-Thompson (born November 8, 1947) is a former American football player for the New York Giants in the National Football League.
Thompson, a running back/wide receiver, played college football at Hartnell Community College and West Texas State, where he was the roommate of future Dallas Cowboys star Duane Thomas. Thompson was a world-class sprinter who won the AAA Championships 100 metres in 1970 with a time of 10.1 seconds. Representing Bermuda, he reached the final of the 100 metres at the 1970 British Commonwealth Games, finishing sixth.
The Giants drafted Thompson in the first round of the 1971 NFL Draft with the 18th overall selection. He appeared in all 28 regular-season games for the Giants in 1971 and 1972, primarily as a kickoff returner, but his NFL career went sour, only scoring three touchdowns in his career. The Giants released Thompson before the start of the 1974 season. Deadspin ranked Thompson as the 7th worst NFL player of all time noting "Shortly after Thompson was selected in the first round of the 1971 draft out of West Texas State, The New York Times reported that Rocky Thompson … is listed in Bermuda and in official Brit track records as Ralph Gary Symonds. Neither Rocky nor Ralph could muster more than three career touchdowns."Sebaceous adenoma
A sebaceous adenoma, a type of adenoma, a cutaneous condition characterized by a slow-growing tumor usually presenting as a pink, flesh-coloured, or yellow papule or nodule.Super Bowl V
Super Bowl V, the fifth edition of the Super Bowl and first modern-era National Football League (NFL) championship game, was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Baltimore Colts and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Dallas Cowboys to decide the NFL champion for the 1970 season. The Colts defeated the Cowboys by the score of 16–13 on a field goal as time expired. The game was played on January 17, 1971, at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, the first Super Bowl game played on artificial turf, on first-generation Poly-Turf.
This was the first Super Bowl played after the completion of the AFL–NFL merger. Beginning with this game and continuing to the present day, the Super Bowl has served as the NFL's league championship game, with the winner of the AFC Championship Game and the winner of the NFC Championship Game facing off in the culmination of the NFL playoffs. As per the merger agreement, all 26 AFL and NFL teams were divided into two conferences with 13 teams in each. Along with the Colts, the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers agreed to join the ten AFL teams to form the AFC; the remaining 13 NFL teams formed the NFC. This explains why the Colts represented the NFL in Super Bowl III, but the AFC for Super Bowl V. Baltimore advanced to Super Bowl V after posting an 11–2–1 regular season record. Meanwhile, the Cowboys were making their first Super Bowl appearance after posting a 10–4 regular season record.
The game is sometimes called the "Blunder Bowl", "Blooper Bowl" or "Stupor Bowl" because it was filled with poor play, a missed PAT, penalties, turnovers, and officiating miscues. The two teams combined for a Super Bowl record 11 turnovers, with five in the fourth quarter. The Colts' seven turnovers remain the most committed by a Super Bowl champion. Dallas also set a Super Bowl record with 10 penalties, costing them 133 yards. It was finally settled when Colts rookie kicker Jim O'Brien made a 32-yard field goal with five seconds left in regulation time. In order to win the game, Baltimore had to overcome a 13–6 deficit after three quarters, and losing their starting quarterback Johnny Unitas in the second quarter. It is the only Super Bowl in which the Most Valuable Player Award was given to a member of the losing team: Cowboys' linebacker Chuck Howley, the first non-quarterback to win the award, after making two interceptions (sacks and tackles were not yet recorded).Super Bowl VI
Super Bowl VI was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Dallas Cowboys and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Miami Dolphins to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1971 season. The Cowboys defeated the Dolphins by the score of 24–3, to win their first Super Bowl. The game was played on January 16, 1972, at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana, the second time the Super Bowl was played in that city. Despite the southerly location, it was unseasonably cold at the time, with the kickoff air temperature of 39 °F (4 °C) making this the coldest Super Bowl ever played.Dallas, in its second Super Bowl appearance, entered the game with a reputation of not being able to win big playoff games such as Super Bowl V and the 1966 and 1967 NFL Championship Games prior to the 1970 AFL–NFL merger. They posted an 11–3 record during the 1971 regular season before defeating the Minnesota Vikings and the San Francisco 49ers in the playoffs. The Dolphins were making their first Super Bowl appearance after building a 10–3–1 regular season record, including eight consecutive wins, and posting postseason victories over the Kansas City Chiefs and the Baltimore Colts.
The Cowboys dominated Super Bowl VI, setting Super Bowl records for the most rushing yards (252), the most first downs (23), and the fewest points allowed (3). For the next 47 years, they would be the only team ever to prevent their opponent from scoring a touchdown in the Super Bowl, a feat matched by the 2018 New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII. The game was close in the first half, with the Cowboys only leading 10–3 at halftime. But Dallas opened the third quarter with a 71-yard, 8-play touchdown drive, and then Dallas linebacker Chuck Howley's 41-yard interception return in the fourth quarter set up another score. Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach, who completed 12 out of 18 passes for 119 yards, threw 2 touchdown passes, and rushed 5 times for 18 yards, was named the Super Bowl's Most Valuable Player.
This was the last Super Bowl to be blacked out in the TV market in which the game was played. Under the NFL's unconditional blackout rules at the time, the Super Bowl could not be broadcast locally even if the local team did not advance to the Super Bowl, and it was a sellout. The following year, the league changed their rules to allow games to be broadcast in the local market if sold out 72 hours in advance. It was the last Super Bowl played with the hashmarks (also called the inbound lines) set at 40 feet apart (20 yards from the sidelines, and the last NFL game overall); the next season, they were brought in to 181⁄2 feet, the width of the goalposts, where they remain.Thomas Duane
Thomas K. Duane (born January 30, 1955) is an American politician from New York, who served in the New York State Senate from 1999 to 2012.
Duane was the first openly gay member of the New York State Senate, and the only such member during his tenure there. He was also the body's only openly HIV-positive member. He represented the 29th Senate District, which stretches along Manhattan's West Side from 85th Street to Canal Street, and includes the following neighborhoods: Upper West Side, Hell's Kitchen, Chelsea, Greenwich Village, and part of the East Side, including the East Village, Stuyvesant Town, Peter Cooper Village and Waterside Plaza.
First elected to the Senate in 1998, he took office the following January and won re-election every two years thereafter until he announced in 2012 that he would be leaving the Senate, citing weariness with commuting between New York City and Albany and in general being ready for "another chapter in my life." At one time he was Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, later that committee’s Ranking Minority Member.His signature legislative accomplishments in the New York State legislature included the passage of the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (SONDA) (2002) and Timothy's Law, which requires mental health parity for patients by insurance companies (2006) which were subsequently signed into law by Governor George Pataki. He was also the prime sponsor of the state's Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), which had been passed numerous times by the State Assembly but previously not come up for a vote in the Senate. Finally, in 2019 the bill passed both the Assembly and the Senate and was eventually signed by Governor Cuomo.He was also instrumental in the ultimate passage of the Hate Crimes Protection Act of 2000, which stipulates longer penalties for those convicted of alleged hate crimes and mandates that New York State keep an active database of these crimes. Duane's advocacy of this cause was personal as well as principled; in 1983, he was hospitalized after being assaulted by two men shouting anti-gay epithets, yet the perpetrators were charged only with a misdemeanor. He also took the lead on "Manny's Law," which requires hospitals to disclose to indigent patients the availability of state-sponsored funds for health care costs, and worked to enact a rental cap of 30 percent of income for people who are living with AIDS and eligible for government financial assistance.Prior to his election to the New York State Senate in 1998, Duane served on the New York City Council, to which he was first elected in 1991.
Andrew Jacobs, later a correspondent for The New York Times and a director and producer of a 2008 documentary, served as his press secretary during his successful run for the Council. Duane and Antonio Pagán, first elected in the same year, were the first two openly gay city council members in New York. For part of that time, Christine Quinn worked as his chief of staff. When he resigned his council seat on being sworn into the Senate, she successfully ran to succeed him.In 1994, Duane ran for the U.S. House of Representatives against incumbent Jerrold Nadler, losing the primary election by a margin of two to one.Duane had also served as a member of his local Community Board, and four terms as Male Democratic District Leader in the 64th New York State Legislature.
Only the second openly LGBT member of the New York Legislature, he later became one of six, alongside Assemblymembers Micah Kellner, Daniel O'Donnell, Matthew Titone, Harry Bronson and Deborah Glick.
Duane was the lead sponsor of Same-sex union legislation in the New York State Senate. Following the Senate vote, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn issued a statement thanking Duane and the State Senate leadership for bringing the bill to a vote and saying "I applaud them for their dogged leadership on this issue."He was also a leader in bipartisan moves to require health insurers to cover mental illness treatment, to improve health care for prisoners, and to make it harder for people to avoid paying child and spousal support.Duane holds a degree in American and Urban Studies from Lehigh University. Born at the old French Hospital on West 30th Street in Manhattan, he was raised in Flushing, Queens, where he attended St. Andrew Avellino School and Holy Cross High School (Flushing). After beginning a career as a Wall Street stockbroker, he moved into public service by volunteering for his community board and working for then-city comptroller Elizabeth Holtzman.His brother, John F. Duane, served in the New York State Assembly in 1983–84 representing the 26th Assembly District in Queens. Duane's partner of 25 years is Louis Webre.Duane has also fought overdevelopment in historic districts. In 2003, he was honored with a Village Award from the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.
Since retiring from the State Senate, he has continued his advocacy work on behalf of the LGBTQ community, disadvantaged children, people with HIV/AIDS, and others. He established Tom Duane Strategies, Inc., dedicated to working with organizations that improve the quality of life for New Yorkers. He has been an outspoken critic of Republican Party agendas and the Trump Administration and an ongoing supporter of LGBTQ rights. He has done philanthropic work with New York City's Anti-Violence Project, which coordinates the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, and is on its board of directors. He has been on New Alternatives for Children's board of directors as well, and remains an advisory director and active supporter of the group. He has also raised funds for HIV/TB/HCV think tank Treatment Action Group, community health center APICHA, and others.
Duane has received a number of honors, from organizations including Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah (where he was the World AIDS Day speaker in December 2015), and The Alpha Workshops, which will be honoring him on May 15, 2017. In 2012 he received a Legends of the Village award from VillageCare, a nonprofit serving people with chronic, continuing, and rehabilitative care needs, which cited his championing of "civil rights, including gay rights in particular, HIV treatment and outreach needs, health care initiatives that reach out to those who are underserved or not served at all, tenant rights and much more." In 2016 he received an Impact Award from Gay City NewsWFL All-Time Team
The WFL All-Time Team is a list of the top players in the history of the World Football League chosen by fans of the WFL. It includes a First-team, a Second-team. Absent from the team are the high-dollar signees from the National Football League, such as Larry Csonka, Paul Warfield, Calvin Hill, Duane Thomas, John Gilliam, George Sauer, and others. The WFL had all-league teams chosen in 1974 by "The Sporting News" and by the players/coaches . The World Football League played in 1974 and 1975, although the 1975 season was ended after 12 of 18 scheduled games.