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Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.

John Wooden

You are here: Home About OLMF Founders Brother Herbert E. Tucker

Brother Herbert E. Tucker

Brother Tucker’s tenure as 23rd Grand Basileus was dominated by increased intensity on social action and support of the ongoing civil rights struggle. The Fraternity’s Life Membership program was launched during his tenure along with life membership in the NAACP.

In 1935, Brother Tucker was initiated into the Fraternity through Gamma Chapter. Upon graduating from Northeastern University School of Law, he was admitted to the bar in 1947. In 1952, Brother Tucker and Antonio Cardozo founded what they believed was the first black law firm in the state of Massachusetts. He and Mary Hill of Philadelphia married in 1937. The couple had two daughters, Gwendolyn and Gretchen. Beginning in 1950, Brother Tucker held offices with the National Asso- ciation for the Advancement of Colored People, serving as president of the Boston branch from 1956 to 1960. Before that, he was the Fraternity’s First District Representative, serving members in New England. In 1949, he was elected the Fraternity’s second Grand Counselor. It was a position he held until 1953, when he was elected First Vice Grand Basileus. At the 41st Grand Conclave in 1955, Brother John F. Potts, who was the Fraternity’s Grand Basileus at the time, placed Brother Tucker’s name in nomination for Grand Basileus. He was elected to three terms as Grand Basileus without opposition. No other Grand Basileus had served that many times.

Brother Tucker’s tenure as Grand Basileus was dominated by increased intensity on social action and support of the ongoing civil rights struggle. The Fraternity approved nu- merous resolutions deploring mob violence and racial discrimination as well as support for the student “sit-in” demonstrations against lunch counter and restaurant discrimi- nation. The Fraternity’s Life Membership program was launched during his tenure and the final payment was made on the national headquarters in Washington DC. The Fraternity purchased a second life membership in the NAACP and more than $30,000 was contributed to the group by chapters who also obtained life memberships.

Brother Tucker later became involved in politics, working on the U.S. Senate and presidential campaigns of John F. Kennedy. Brother Tucker and his wife attended one of JFK’s inaugural balls in 1961. Later that year, Kennedy picked Brother Tucker to be an assistant attorney general in Mas- sachusetts. Kennedy also appointed him to be his personal representative, with the rank of ambassador, to the Republic of Gabon in Africa.

Brother Tucker’s career as a jurist began in 1973, when he was appointed special justice in the Dorchester District Court. He later became an associate justice in that court and in 1980 became the presiding justice of the Edgartown Dis- trict Court, where he remained until his retirement in 1985.

He joined the Aleppo Shriners and was the Worshipful Master of Mt. Zion No. 15, Prince Hall in Dorchester. He was also a lecturer at several universities, including Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern University and Harvard College.

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