Raymond R. Tucker was born in St. Louis on December 4, 1896. He was raised and resided for most of his life in the Carondelet area of south St. Louis, within a half mile of where he was born. His family has been in that part of the city for over a century
Tucker received his education in the public grammar schools, St. Louis University High School, and St. Louis University. After earning his A.B. degree in 1917, he received the B.S. degree from the department of mechanical engineering at Washington University in 1920. In addition, he took graduate courses at Columbia University, New York. He is a member of Sigma Xi, a national honorary engineering fraternity; Tau Beta Pi, undergraduate engineering fraternity; Kappa Alpha; the American Society of Mechanical Engineers; a member of the University Club of St. Louis; and other clubs and honorary orders.
In choosing the field of mechanical engineering and later a career centered on smoke abatement, Tucker followed in the footsteps of his father, to whom he was very close. The elder Tucker was an engineer and in 1904 had participated in an unsuccessful program for the elimination of smoke in St. Louis.
In 1928 Raymond Tucker married Edythe F. Lieber, also a St. Louis resident. The Tuckers have a daughter and son, both of whom have studied at Washington University.
From 1927 through 1934 Tucker was a member of the faculty of Washington University, as an associate professor of mechanical engineering. During this period he also maintained a chemical laboratory serving local foundries. This laboratory was sold in the early 1930's.
In 1934 Democratic Mayor Bernard F. Dickmann of St. Louis asked Tucker to become his secretary. As such he represented the mayor on various committees, among them the committee on the Soldiers Memorial, a committee of businessmen to make a survey of civic groups and the United Relief Committee. Tucker was chairman of the Mayor's Budget Committee. During this period he was especially active in promoting the adoption of an anti-smoke ordinance. Tucker also served as Director of Public Safety of St. Louis and as a member of the Board of Public Service. He resigned with the change in administration in 1941, but was called back by the new mayor, William Becker, a Republican, for a short period to deal with temporary increase in smoke in the city.
In September 1942 he returned to Washington University as head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. During his period as Smoke Commissioner of St. Louis he had established a national reputation as a leader in the anti-pollution field and in power plant design, travelling widely in the United States as a lecturer and consultant.
During World War II, while at Washington University, Tucker served as a civilian coordinator in the training of soldiers on the campus. In addition he was Assistant to the Regional Adviser of Engineering-Science-Management, a war training department covering several states; a member of the State Training Council of the War Manpower Commission; and a member of the Aviation Committee on Post-War Developments of the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce. He was also a member of the Model Smoke Law committee of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
In the administration of Mayor Joseph M. Darst of St. Louis (1949-1953) Tucker served on the Mayor's Air Pollution Committee, was chairman of the 1949 Charter Board of Freeholders and Director of Civil Defense.
In 1953 Professor Tucker was elected Mayor of St. Louis, having defeated Mark D. Eagleton for the Democratic nomination in the primary election. He was subsequently elected twice. In 1965 he was defeated in the Democratic primary in his bid for a fourth term.
During his three terms as Mayor of St. Louis Raymond Tucker established a reputation for meting the major problems of the city head-on. In his first term the earnings tax and several bond issues were passed, stabilizing the city's finances and getting a number of public improvements underway. In 1954 he supported the adoption of a Metropolitan Sewer District. Among other reforms in which he was instrumental were a revision of the city Charter to raise the city salary limit and a revised building code for St. Louis. During his period in office Tucker provided leadership in the initiation or progress of various urban renewal programs. Throughout his tenure in office Tucker relied on the support and abilities of prominent businessmen and other civic leaders through citizens' committees and organizations like Civic Progress, Incorporated for the success of many progressive measures.
Tucker died in St. Louis on November 23, 1970
Finding aids in .PDF format. Tips on opening PDF files when using FireFox.
SERIES 1 - First Administration
SERIES 2 - Second Administration Office Files
SERIES 3 - Third Administration Office Files
SERIES 4 - Darst Administration Office Files
SERIES 5 - Civic Progress Incorporated
SERIES 6 - Campaigns and Bond Issues
SERIES 7 - Board Bills
SERIES 8 - Speeches
SERIES 9 - Mayor's Office Accounts
SERIES 10 - Appointment Books
SERIES 11 - Invitations and Proclamations
SERIES 12 - Scrapbooks
SERIES 13 - City Journal
SERIES 14 - Miscellaneous Publications
(Series 4-14 are described in one finding aid)
No restrictions on access.[Finding Aids]