About Mr. Duddlesten

WAYNE DUDDLESTEN LIVED HIS ENTIRE LIFE AS A PROUD HOUSTONIAN WHO NOT ONLY HELPED SHAPE THE CITY AS A REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER, BUT SUPPORTED THE CITY THROUGH HIS HEART FOR PHILANTHROPY.

Wayne Duddlesten

Mr. Duddlesten started his career by founding a large regional advertising agency, which specialized in real estate marketing. Later he formed and operated a general contracting firm, which also developed and operated commercial income-producing properties. It was listed in Fortune Magazine’s top 200 U.S. construction firms.

His construction firm operated in over 30 states and led to his expanding, and ultimately confining his focus to developing, owning and operating large scale income-producing properties, including hotels, office buildings, high and low-rise apartments, condominiums and retail centers. He also developed residential and commercial communities.

Mr. Duddlesten particularly enjoyed mentoring up-and-coming young businessmen and women in Houston, particularly those in real estate and development. He regarded them as not only friends, but family, and welcomed meetings to encourage their success. He always felt blessed to be surrounded and supported by the special people he employed. His goal was to push everyone to grow and hone their skills with hard work, self-starting initiative, good judgment, honor and character. He said, “always do what you say you’ll do.” He expected the best from each person. Wayne was a man of kindness, generosity, wisdom, wit and style. He was a listener, which is rare among men who accomplish so much. He was a man of humility and wit. He loved his family and friends. He was a gentle man who thought of others first. When he said, “If I can do anything for you, let me know” he meant it. While he expected the most of each person, he was patient and supportive. Those who learned from his prodding and coaching came away stronger, wiser, and more capable. Wayne was a man of his word.

An impressive array of personal accomplishments include:

  • Named “Outstanding Young Man of the Year” by the Houston Chamber of Commerce in 1964
  • Recipient of the Anti-Defamation League’s Humanitarian Award
  • Appointed by Governor William Clements as Commissioner of the Texas Department of Highways and Public Transportation, serving from 1989 until 1991
  • Founding member of the Houston Apartment Association, and was named its 1992 Hall of Fame Honoree
  • Received the John Turner Legacy Award for advancements in transportation and mobility in Houston and Harris County from the Greater Houston Partnership
  • Received the Houston Association of Realtors’ Commercial Hall of Fame Award in recognition of his over 45 years of accomplishments in the field of commercial real estate development

A strong supporter of the Houston community, Mr. Duddlesten’s impressive record of service in civic, charitable and business-related organizations include:

  • Participation as a board and executive committee member of the Greater Houston Partnership
  • A trustee emeritus of the University of Houston Foundation
  • An advisory board member of the University of Houston Foundation
  • An advisory board member of the University of Houston System Development Board
  • A member of the President’s Council of Houston Baptist University
  • National trustee of the National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine in Denver, CO
  • A founding member of the steering committee and member of the advisory board of Passages, a women’s addiction-residential treatment facility
  • Advisory board member of Trees for Houston
  • Director of “Mission Impossible” for the March of Dimes

  • Christmas seal chairman of the San Jacinto Lung Association
  • Director of the Houston Lighthouse for the Blind
  • Silver Star supporter of the Houston Council on Alcohol and Drugs
  • A member of the University of Texas Houston – Health Science Center Development Board, serving on its Public Affairs Advisory Council
  • Founding member of University of Texas Houston – Health Science Center’s Lone Star Legacy Society
  • Trustee of the Texas Apartment Association
  • Served on Life Magazine’s Builders’ Marketing Council
  • A member of the Multi-Family Housing Committee of the National Association of Homebuilders
  • A frequent speaker at Multi-Family Housing Conferences, Southwest Builders Conferences, National Apartment Association Conventions, and American Hotel-Motel Association Conventions

The Wayne Duddlesten Foundation was formed in 1981. As a result, many charitable, educational and medical organizations have been funded.

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Grant Spotlight / Education


The Foundation is proud of its $100,000 grant to the University of Houston to create The Wayne B. Duddlesten, Sr., Tier One Scholarship. This grant was matched dollar-for-dollar by the university, to ...


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