Dr. C. Delores Tucker
Born in Philadelphia to a minister and a “Christian feminist mother” on October 4, 1927, she was the tenth of thirteen children. Ms. Tucker attended Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania-Wharton School. (Later in life she was the recipient of two honorary doctoral degrees from Morris College in Sumter, South Carolina and Villa Maria College in Pennsylvania, 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.
Tucker had a long history in the Civil Rights Movement. Early on, her civil activities included participating in the 1965 march in Selma, Alabama alongside the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and raising funds for the NAACP.
She was the convening founder and national chair of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc. (NCBW), having succeeded the Hon. Shirley Chisholm in 1992.
Tucker also was responsible for the Governor’s appointment of more women judges and more women and African Americans to boards and commissions than ever before. She also led the effort to make Pennsylvania one of the first states to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. As Chief of Elections of Pennsylvania, she was a leader in instituting a voter registration by mail and reducing the voting age from 21 to 18 years of age.
In 1971, Tucker became the first female African-American Secretary of State in the U.S., serving for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania until 1977. During this time she instituted the first Commission on the Status of Women.
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.