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Manuscript Group 494
31 cubic feet

Dr. C. DeLores Tucker (1927-2005) served as Pennsylvania's Secretary of State from 1971-1977. During her tenure, she chaired the Commission on Charitable Organizations, which formulated and achieved passage of a strong solicitation of Charitable Funds Act that stiffened standards and increased the registration of charities from 400 to 8,000 and doubled the number of investigations and hearings. As Chief Election Officer of the Commonwealth, she instituted the first computerized candidate filing system in the nation, and as Chief Registration Officer, also initiated computerization of the Corporation Bureau. She later served as president of the Bethune DuBois Fund, Inc., which she founded in 1991, and was the convening founder of the National Political Congress of Black Women, Inc., of which she served as chair from 1992. Dr. Tucker also served as chair of the Democratic National Committee Black Caucus, was the founding president of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Association for Non-Violent Change, and launched a historical publication entitled Vital Issues: The Journal of African-American Speeches.

During her tenure as Secretary of State, she instituted the first Commission on the Status of Women in Pennsylvania and was responsible for the Governor's appointment of more women and minorities to Boards and Commissions, and more women judges, than in the history of the Commonwealth up to that time. She also led the effort to make Pennsylvania one of the first states to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. As a member of the Democratic National Committee, Dr. Tucker organized a woman's caucus and served on a Charter Commission to ensure that all women had a fair share representation at all levels of the Democratic Party. Dr. Tucker's civic and political activities included her participation with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in the Selma to Montgomery march in 1965. She was also a delegate to the historic White House Conference on Civil Rights in 1962. The more than three hundred awards with which she was honored during her lifetime included the Philadelphia Urban League Whitney Young Award (1990), NAACP Thurgood Marshall Award (1982), the NAACP Freedom Fund Award, Ebony Magazine's "100 Most Influential Black Americans" (1972-1977), Ladies Home Journal Nominee for Woman of the Year (1975, 1976), and the B'nai Birith Community Service Award. She was also named by the National Women's Political Caucus and Redbook Magazine as the woman best qualified to be Ambassador to the United Nations.

She attended both Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania-Wharton School, and received two honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from Morris College in Alabama and Villa Maria College in Pennsylvania. The first African American Secretary of State in the nation, she championed the Pennsylvania Equal Rights Amendment and policies on affirmative action, voter registration by mail, and lowering the voting age to 18. She also spearheaded the creation of the Commission on the Status of Women and led a crusade critical of the music industry for promoting lyrics that were demeaning to women, African Americans, and children.

Materials in the C. DeLores Tucker Papers include speeches, photograph albums, loose photos, news clippings, scrapbooks, publications, obituaries, and files kept by Tucker on the Bethune-DuBois Institute, the National Congress of Black Women, and "Gangsta Rap" music.

PA State Archives Hours, Directions, & Fees Research Topics Online Catalog Land Records