Mike Dukes was born March 16, 1936, in Louisville, Kentucky. A graduate of Southwestern DeKalb High School in Decatur, Georgia, he went on to play linebacker at Clemson University.

He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the 14th round of the 1959 NFL Draft, but signed with the Houston Oilers in the newly formed American Football League. He played in Houston for four years and was named to the All-AFL Team in 1960 and 1961, before moving on to play with the Boston Patriots. With the Patriots he played linebacker in 1964 and 1965, until he was traded to the New York Jets.

After football, he moved to Beaumont, Texas in the early 1980s and became the general manager for Burks Valve Inc in 1993.

Mike Dukes died in a car crash on June 6, 2008, at age 72, in Beaumont, Texas.