Home » News » TFAS Mourns the Passing of Former Trustee William “Bill” Tucker

TFAS Mourns the Passing of Former Trustee William “Bill” Tucker


Tucker organized press conferences at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) during TFAS Prague. Here he is pictured in 1998 with Hungarian President Árpád Göncz.

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of former TFAS Trustee WilliamBill” Tucker. Bill served on the TFAS Board of Trustees from 1975-1999. For much of that time he served as board secretary. Among his many contributions to TFAS was his work in helping establish a successful international program in Prague in 1993.

When David Jones appointed Randal Teague to chair an international programs board committee in 1990, Bill was among the first to make the case for TFAS taking its curriculum on the essentials of political and economic freedom to students who had lived behind the Iron Curtain. Jones didn’t need much convincing and he tasked Teague, Tucker, Roger Ream ’76 and Michael Collins, with the mission to design such an initiative and recommend to the board where it ought to be offered each summer.

Bill let very little stand in his way when it came to providing opportunities for young people to learn.” – TFAS President Roger Ream

Tucker and TFAS staff organized visits for students, faculty supporters to visit the residence of the Ambassador to the Czech Republic for many years. Tucker is pictured here with U.S. Ambassador Julian Niemczyk (U.S. Amb. to Czechoslovakia, 1986-1989) and former Czech member of Parliament Ivana Plechata.

After visits to universities and elected officials in Prague, Budapest, Warsaw, Krakow and several other cities, TFAS’s American Institute on Political and Economic Systems was born in collaboration with Charles University in Prague. This year, that program celebrated its 30th anniversary.

TFAS President Roger Ream commented that “among other reasons, we will always be grateful for Bill’s role in our bringing about our first international program in Prague, then securing leaders from Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and other countries as speakers at the closing ceremony there. Bill let very little stand in his way when it came to providing opportunities for young people to learn.”

He was a key campaign and convention strategy advisor as well as leading the delegate operation for numerous candidates, including Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, Howard Baker, George Bush and advised on campaigns for Vaclav Havel and Lech Walesa.

Tucker introduces U.S. Amb. Jenonne R. Walker at the Ambassador’s Residence.

He served as the Special Counsel to the White House for President Reagan, writing the first transition paper ever written for a First Lady (Nancy Reagan).

He also was a key campaign advisor on delegate selection and convention strategy for John Warner’s campaign for the U.S. Senate.

TFAS Trustee Emeritus Lee Edwards remembers Bill for his contributions to the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

In 1995, Bill Tucker (right) is joined by TFAS supporter Vasek Polak (center) in presenting an award to Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus (left).

“Bill was an early and most helpful colleague at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation,” Edwards said. “He organized annual awards receptions at a number of embassies and played a key role in getting Bush 43 to serve as VOC’s honorary chairman. He made a difference when many said we would never do it.”

Bill is proceeded in death by his wife Nancy, who was an active partner with Bill in participating in TFAS activities. Below is a link to Bill’s obituary. Services will be held on August 12 at 1 p.m. at Immanuel Presbyterian Church (1125 Savile Lane, McLean, VA).

Read more about Tucker’s life and legacy here.



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