C. Delores Tucker : biography
C. Delores Tucker (née Cynthia Delores Nottage) (October 4, 1927 – October 12, 2005) was an African-American politician and civil rights activist best known for her participation in the Civil Rights Movement and her stance against gangsta rap music.
Selected as one of 25 of the World’s Most Intriguing People by People magazine, Tucker was also selected as a People Magazine 1996 Yearbook Honoree, and was featured in the inaugural issue of John F. Kennedy, Jr.'s George magazine for her crusade against gangsta rap. In addition, she has been acknowledged for her deep concern for children by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in the book It Takes A Village. The National Women's Political Caucus and Redbook also named her as the woman best qualified to be Ambassador to the United Nations. For five consecutive years, from 1972 through 1977, she was listed as among Ebony magazine's 100 Most Influential Black Americans. During that period, she was listed as Ladies Home Journal Nominee for Woman of the Year in both 1975 and 1976. She was recognized by Ebony as one of the '100 Most Influential Black Organization Leaders' in the country in 2001 and 2002. Tucker was also a prominent member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.
On April 25, 2006, a state historical marker honoring Tucker was unveiled during a ceremony at the State Museum of Pennsylvania, in Harrisburg. The unveiling of the marker was done by Governor Ed Rendell and Bill Tucker.
In addition, it was announced that the North Building which is adjacent to the State Capitol Building, was to be renamed the Secretary C. Delores Tucker Building. The state marker, which was commissioned by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, was installed outside the entrance to the building.
The marker reads: C. Delores Tucker
Civil rights leader and activist for women, she was the first African American Secretary of State in the nation. Championed the PA Equal Rights Amendment and policies on affirmative action, voter registration by mail, and lowering the voting age to 18. Spearheaded the creation of the Commission on the Status of Women & led a successful crusade critical of the music industry and lyrics demeaning to women, African Americans, and children.
Born in Philadelphia to a minister from the Bahamas and a "Christian feminist mother" on October 4, 1927, she was the tenth of thirteen children. Tucker attended Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. She was later the recipient of two honorary doctoral degrees from Morris College in Sumter, South Carolina and Villa Maria College in Pennsylvania, and for this reason, she is sometimes referred to as "Dr. Tucker".
In 1951, she married William "Bill" Tucker, a successful Philadelphia real estate agent and she herself worked in real estate and insurance sales early in her career.
In 1971, Tucker became the first black female Secretary of State when Pennsylvania Governor Milton Shapp appointed her Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. During her tenure, she instituted the first Commission on the Status of Women.. University of Maryland. Last accessed August 24, 2007. Shapp fired Tucker in September 1977 for allegedly using state employees to write speeches for which she received honorariums. Two years later, one of Tucker's successors as Secretary of the Commonwealth, Dr. Ethel D. Allen, would also be fired for using public employees to write speeches.
She was founder and president of the Bethune-DuBois Institute, Inc., which she established in 1991 to promote the cultural development of African American youth through scholarships and educational programs. Tucker also launched, and served as publisher of the publication, Vital Issues: The Journal of African American Speeches.
Tucker died on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 at Suburban Woods Health Center in Norristown, Pennsylvania at the age of 78.
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