Name: Tucker, Raymond R.
Category: Politics and Government (Number 38)
Term as Mayor: 1953-1965
Born/Started: Dec. 04, 1896
Died/Ended: Nov. 23, 1970
Description: Raymond Tucker was the 38th mayor of St. Louis, serving three terms from 1953 to 1965. Tucker won the 1953 Democratic nomination for mayor in the primary campaign against Mark D. Eagleton, and was elected in April. During his first term the earnings tax was made a permanent part of the City´s financial system. A $1.5 million Plaza Bond Issue was passed in September, 1953. A $110 million bond issue, providing for 23 types of City improvements, was passed in May of 1955. The City´s water supply underwent fluoridation in September, 1955. He supported the adoption of the plan for the Metropolitan Sewer District in 1954.
During his second term, Mayor Tucker backed the proposed City Charter that was defeated August 6, 1957. The increase in the Earnings Tax from one-half to one per cent became effective August 1, 1959. He opposed the Metropolitan District Plan of 1959, and the Borough plan of 1962. The American Municipal Association (now renamed, National League of Cities) made him president in 1959, and he headed the United States Conference of Mayors from December, 1963 to April 20, 1965. The City Charter was amended in August, 1960, to raise the City salary limit from $10,000 to $25,000. In 1956 the Mayor had appointed a committee of building industry people to draw up a new Building Code, which he signed into law March 31, 1961. In Mayor Tucker’s third term, the 1961 Public Accommodations Ordinance was passed, along with fair employment legislation in 1963. Much time was also devoted to the Riverfront Memorial, the downtown stadium, and urban renewal programs.
Mayor Tucker was born in St. Louis in 1896 and received degrees at Saint Louis University and Washington University. He married Miss Mary Edythe Leiber in 1928 and they raised a son and daughter. From 1921 to 1934 he taught mechanical engineering at Washington University, and was chairman of the department from 1942 to 1951. He was secretary to Mayor Dickmann from 1934 to 1937, when he became the first City smoke commissioner. From 1939 to 1941 he was secretary to Mayor Dickmann´s Survey and Audit Committee, which sponsored the Griffenhagen Report on St. Louis City Government. During parts of 1940 and 1941 he served as director of Public Safety.
Mr. Tucker was a member of the committee appointed to write the City´s first Civil Service ordinance in 1940. He headed the 1949 Charter Board of Freeholders, whose plan was defeated at the polls in August, 1950. St. Louis Civil Defense was his responsibility from January, 1951 to February, 1953. The St. Louis Newspaper Guild gave him the "Page One Award´ for civic achievement in 1952, and in 1956 he received the "St. Louis Award" for rallying citizens to work for civic improvement.
On March 9, 1965, he lost to A..J. Cervantes, in the Democratic Primary, in his bid for a fourth term. Mr. Tucker became professor of urban affairs at Washington University in 1965.
Tucker died in St. Louis on November 23, 1970.
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