Dr. Robert Cinnamond Tucker was born in Senatobia, Mississippi on October 16, 1915. He earned Bachelor's degrees in History and Library Science from Louisiana State University in 1936 and 1937, a Master's degree in History at LSU in 1942, and a Ph.D. in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1958. He served with the Army Air Corps in Ireland for three years during World War II, and served as the executive librarian with the 24th Army Corps for a year during the Korean War. He was married to Mary Kent Seagle from 1966 until her death in 1972, and to Azile Chastain from 1973 until her death in 2008.
Dr. Tucker worked as the university librarian at Furman University from 1947 to 1978. His tenure at the university witnessed the move from the old downtown campus to the current location, and into a new library far better-suited to handle the demands of the collection. He expanded the South Carolina Baptist Collection, helping to make Furman an important destination for anyone researching the history of the Baptists in South Carolina. He also helped to make Special Collections a distinct department of the library, insisting that space be included for Special Collections in the plans for the new library, and convincing Dr. Plyler and Dr. Sims to fund a single part-time employee for the department.
Robert and Azile Tucker also traveled extensively both before and after his retirement, amassing a collection of materials from North and South America, Europe, and Asia that form the Travels of Robert Tucker Collection.