Neely Tucker

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Neely Tucker (born November 26, 1963 in Lexington, Mississippi) was a journalist at The Washington Post and is the author of Love in the Driest Season, an autobiographical story that touches on his journey from his education at a whites-only school in Mississippi, to his marriage to a Jamaican, to his adoption of a Zimbabwean child.[1] He previously worked as a foreign correspondent in Zimbabwe, where he and his wife Vita lived, and adopted a child.[2] He is currently a writer-editor in the Office of Communications at the Library of Congress.


Tucker was raised in Mississippi by his parents Elizabeth and Duane Tucker. He has a brother named Duane Jr. He lives near Washington DC. His favorite teams are Mississippi State and the New Orleans Saints.[3]


Tucker attended Starkville Academy, a segregation academy.[4][5] He started first grade at SA on the day it opened and graduated in 1982, playing football, writing for the school's newspaper, and earning the title Mister Starkville Academy.[6] After graduating high school, he went on to attend Mississippi State University[7] but later obtained his degree from the University of Mississippi where he was selected as the most outstanding journalism student at graduation in 1986.[8] In 2018 he returned to Starkville Academy and delivered a speech on racism, in which he drew an analogy between white students such as himself and monsters, and compared the Mississippi of the mid twentieth-century with the apartheid rule in South Africa.[6]


Throughout Tucker's career, he has reported from more than 50 countries around the world.[3] While attending the University of Mississippi, he worked for the Oxford Eagle in Mississippi. Upon graduating, he went on to work for Florida Today, Gannett's national wire service, and the Miami Herald. He then served as a foreign correspondent at the Detroit Free Press.[8] Tucker was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 2011 for "Life After Death," a story about his wife's seven-year odyssey to help convict her daughter's killer.[9] In 2019 Tucker became a writer-editor at the Library of Congress.[10][11]


  • Love in the Driest Season
  • Murder DC
  • Only the Hunted Run
  • The Ways of the Dead


  1. ^ "Love in the Driest Season". Random House. Retrieved March 11, 2010.
  2. ^ Crosslin, Julie (May 6, 2004). "Feature Interview: Neely Tucker, foreign correspondent and father". Life Matters. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved March 11, 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Neely Tucker - The Washington Post". The Washington Post. April 16, 2012. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  4. ^ Spencer, Mack (May 17, 2004). "Public domain, private options". Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  5. ^ Bolton, Charles C. (2005). The Hardest Deal of All. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 9781578067176.
  6. ^ a b Tucker, Neely (November 26, 2018). "We make Mississippi's future brighter by being honest about our past". Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  7. ^ Steinberg, Sasha (August 29, 2016). "'To the university I love most:' MSU receives Neely Tucker papers collection". Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  8. ^ a b Usher, Kelle. "Neely Tucker, Mississippi writer and journalist". Mississippi Writers and Musicians. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  9. ^ "Neely Tucker". Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  10. ^ Library of Congress Magazine (PDF). p. 15 Retrieved August 5, 2020. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^

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