Author: William B. Crawley

professor emeritus of history at the University of Mary Washington
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Tuck, William M. (1896–1983)

William M. Tuck was a member of the House of Delegates (1924–1932), the Senate of Virginia (1932–1942), and the U.S. House of Representatives (1953–1969). He also served as lieutenant governor (1942–1946) and governor (1946–1950). Born in Halifax County and educated in the law, Tuck was raised around tobacco and politics and was renowned for his girth and flamboyant personality. Harry F. Byrd Sr., a U.S. senator and head of the conservative Democratic Byrd Organization, did not initially warm to Tuck, who bucked him early on with regard to New Deal politics. But the two eventually became close allies. As governor, Tuck fought organized labor, threatening to draft union members into the state militia if they went on strike and helping usher a right-to-work law through the General Assembly. He also fought civil rights, opposing the agenda of President Harry S. Truman and later efforts to enforce public-school desegregation. Tuck retired from politics in 1969 and died in South Boston in 1983.

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