Monday, August 10, 2015

The Honorable Marcus O. Tucker

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of the Honorable Marcus O. Tucker this past weekend.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Marcus O. Tucker, Jr. was born in Santa Monica, California on November 12, 1934. His father was a physician who came to Santa Monica from Kansas. His mother was a teacher and realtor from Georgia.

Judge Tucker graduated from University High School in Los Angeles in 1952 and from USC in 1956 as an honor student. His uncle, James McClendon, an attorney in Chicago, was a tremendous inspiration. Tucker went to Howard University Law School. He was a member of the editorial staff for the Howard Law School Journal.

Judge Tucker returned to Santa Monica where he served as the first African American deputy city attorney in the criminal division from 1963 to 1965. He was an assistant U.S. attorney in the Los Angeles Criminal Division from 1965-1967.  Judge Tucker was the first African American to serve as presiding judge of the Long Beach Superior Court in 1977. From 1987 to 1994 he was the presiding judge of the Los Angeles Juvenile Courts. Judge Tucker notably made low-cost drug testing for parents available through the court and referrals to community resources. He also created Teen Courts with peer juries and close monitoring of truancy.

Judge Tucker established the History of Black Lawyers in Los Angeles project. He was named a  member of the National Bar Association Hall of Fame. He is survived by his daughter Angelique Stephens.

The Santa Monica Public Library has the honor of hosting the  Marcus O. Tucker Collection which highlights the achievements of "Black Men of Courage" with a collection of biographical works.