The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Sterling Tucker, first elected chairman of D.C. Council under home rule, has died

Sterling Tucker, the first chairman of the D.C. Council to be elected under Home Rule was a statehood advocate.
Sterling Tucker, the first chairman of the D.C. Council to be elected under Home Rule was a statehood advocate. (Lynne Duke/The Washington Post)
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Sterling Tucker, a principal figure in the founding generation of the present-day District government, died Sunday, it was learned Tuesday night.

He was chosen by voters in 1974 to become the first chairman of the District’s council under home rule and was regarded as one of the shapers of the city’s independent government.

Sterling Tucker, civil rights leader and pioneering D.C. politician, dies at 95

A grandson,Jason Jeffery, said he died at his home in the District at the age of 95. He had multiple ailments and medical conditions, his grandson said.

He had served as vice chairman starting in 1969 of what was then the city’s appointed council. As chairman under home rule, he served one term before making an unsuccessful mayoral bid.

Active in the movement for civil rights, he was a longtime leader of the Washington Urban League. He remained active in civic affairs after his political career ended.

Mr. Tucker was born in Akron, Ohio, and was educated at the University of Akron.

In announcing the death in a Twitter message Tuesday night, the D.C. Council called Mr. Tucker “a truly epic & exceptional figure in D.C. history.”

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