Earl Lee Tucker


Newspaper editor and humor columnist Earl Tucker (1904-1964) was widely known for the humor that flowed from him both in written and spoken form. For 30 years, Tucker wrote a popular humor column, "Rambling Roses and Flying Bricks," which originated in The Thomasville Times. Many of his columns were gathered in three books published in 1958, 1959, and 1960.

Tucker was born on July 25, 1904, to Austico Busbee Tucker, who was editor and publisher of The Thomasville Times, and Lula Hall Tucker in Thomasville, Clarke County. A graduate of Thomasville High School, Tucker attended Auburn University. He took over the paper from his father in 1926 and ran it until 1959.

Tucker's column began publication in 1934 in The Thomasville Times; by the time of his death, it appeared in more than 40 newspapers and magazines. As the column's popularity grew, he also was sought as a speaker and was often compared to Will Rogers in his delivery and wit. He continued writing the column after his retirement, and even as his health began to fail he was writing columns about being a sick man in a hospital. He also represented Clarke County in the Alabama legislature for 16 years as a Democrat (from 1930 to 1934, then again from 1938 to 1950), serving as chairman of his party's state executive committee.

Tucker died on April 7, 1964. In 1972, he was inducted into the Alabama Newspaper Hall of Honor on the Auburn University campus. In her book Odd-Egg Editor, Tucker's cousin, Kathryn Tucker Windham of Selma, writes of working for Tucker and writing movie reviews when she was a high school student and helping set type at the newspaper.

Works by Tucker  

Rambling Roses and Flying Bricks (1958)

How Not To Worry About the Love Life of Spiders (1959)

All the Nuts Aren't on Trees (1960)

Additional Resources  

Williams, King E. (Ed) Williams, Jr. "Chapter 11, Alabama Newspaper Hall of Honor." The Press of Alabama: A History of the Alabama Press Association. Birmingham: Alabama Press Association, 1997.

Windham, Kathryn Tucker. Odd-Egg Editor. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1990.

Ed Williams 
Auburn University


Published August 22, 2009
Last updated November 3, 2011