Sad news yesterday of the passing of William Tucker, one of the great freelance journalists of our time. I didn’t know Bill especially well, but we spoke on the phone now and then, visited a few times in Washington, and were together just last September at an event at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, speaking about energy and environmentalism. I always learned something useful and original from him every time we spoke.
He was one of the earliest critics of the environmental movement’s turn to the hard left in the 1970s, and then became a very lonely advocate of nuclear power when everyone else had given up on it. It is a shame that he won’t be here to see his confidence vindicated, though he could see the tide was finally starting to turn.
Here’s the obituary from RealClearEnergy yesterday (Bill was the founding editor of the site):
Last week RealClearEnergy lost one of its own. Bill Tucker was a 40-plus-year veteran of journalism and the founding news editor of RealClearEnergy.org when it started publishing back in the spring of 2011. He passed away Feb. 3 at New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center after an extended illness.
Bill’s experience covering energy and U.S. environmental policy went back to the 1970s, when he was a contributing editor at Harper’s Magazine, and where he became a National Magazine Award finalist in 1980. He wrote or co-wrote eight books including To Renew America with House Speaker Newt Gingrich in 1995 and Jihad in America with terrorism expert Ste[v]en Emerson in 2002. He also won a Mencken Award for best non-fiction book in 1991 for the publication of The Excluded Americans, which explored lives of America’s homeless population and discussed both causes and solutions regarding U.S. housing policy.
In recent years, Bill became an expert explainer of nuclear energy, and was able to effortlessly turn nuclear engineering and complicated science into prose that normal readers could understand. He used this skill from 2009-2012 as a speechwriter for Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, one of the Senate’s leading proponents of nuclear energy.
Bill worked until the last weeks of his life, even from his hospital bed. His clear and concise prose, as well as his bottomless appetite for life and his great vision for RealClearEnergy will be missed by everyone within the RealClear family. We can only hope to meet his high standard of journalism as the future unfolds. He was a great yeoman laboring in the fields of truth.