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In Memoriam, Kevin M. Tucker (1940-2012)

On June 19, 2012, former Wistar board chair Kevin M. Tucker died following a long illness. Over the last three decades, Mr. Tucker was a strong leader and vital member of the Wistar community. He will be deeply missed by Wistar's staff, faculty and Board of Trustees. The Wistar Institute extends its most sincere condolences to his devoted wife, Judy, and their family.

By any standard, Mr. Tucker led an extraordinary life of achievement. From humble beginnings as a beat cop in Rahway, New Jersey, he became a highly ranked and decorated agent in the United States Secret Service. His assignments took him from guarding Jacqueline Kennedy and her two children to protecting Pope John Paul II on his historic visit to Philadelphia in 1979. In Philadelphia, he may be best remembered in his transformative role as the Philadelphia Police Commissioner, rebuilding the police department following the tragedy of the MOVE conflict in 1985.

After his career in law enforcement, Mr. Tucker moved into the banking industry, from which he eventually retired as vice president at PNC Bank. This next phase of his life was dedicated to the service of others. He founded the Corporate Alliance for Drug Education and was deeply involved in organizations such as the Boy Scouts and the Police Athletic League—groups that all served to make a lasting difference in the lives of young men and women. 

Of course, Wistar will always be grateful that, in 1992, a man of such wisdom and resourcefulness as Kevin Tucker joined The Wistar Institute Board of Managers. Mr. Tucker was a vital part of the Institute serving as chair of our board from 1998 to 2005, and tirelessly advocating for cancer research. His guiding vision and steady hand helped lead the Institute through an era of shrinking federal research budgets and organizational changes. His strategic mind and vision helped set Wistar on its current path, but it was his kindness and his devotion in service to others that truly inspired.

Despite his illness in recent years, he maintained his active engagement on the Wistar board, and Mr. Tucker's presence at many special Wistar events, such as the groundbreaking for the new research building and the Annual Taxin Golf Classic, helped raise the spirits of all who attended.

Kevin Tucker was an integral member of The Wistar Institute and leaves an indelible legacy of leadership, generosity and service to others.

Yesterday, The Philadelphia Inquirer, NJToday.net, and NJ.com, published obituaries.

In 2005, a tribute video was prepared for the 2005 Wistar Gala, which was held in his honor. At the time, Mr. Tucker had just stepped down as chair of Wistar's board of managers. 


A Tribute to Kevin M. Tucker (1940-2012) from The Wistar Institute on Vimeo.

According to the Tucker family, donations may be made in Mr. Tucker's name to Wistar's Albert R. Taxin Brain Tumor Research Center. The Wistar Institute is grateful for your kindness. Donate online or call us at 215-898-3930. 

Share your thoughts or stories about Mr. Tucker below.

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