Willis D. Tucker (November 13, 1922 – June 30, 2000) was an American politician and newspaper editor from Washington state. Tucker was the longtime editor of the Western Sun in southern Snohomish County from 1965 to 1980. He was elected as the first Snohomish County Executive in 1980 and served three terms in the office before retiring in 1991.
Tucker was born on November 13, 1922, to a coal mining family in Beards Fork, West Virginia. At the age of 14, he was sent to live with his grandparents in Coulee City, Washington, where he graduated high school. Playing as a quarterback for the Coulee City High Schoolfootball team, Tucker earned himself a scholarship to attend Gonzaga University shortly after graduating.
Tucker abandoned the Gonzaga scholarship and enlisted in the United States Army in 1943, during the middle of World War II, and was sent to Fort Custer to become a member of the Military Police Corps. He served under former FBI agent Melvin Purvis in Europe, investigating crimes involving American soldiers, before mustering out as technical sergeant. After returning to Coulee City in 1946, he married Annette Rhoades and worked as a concrete pourer on the Grand Coulee Dam before being poisoned by the work, entering the newspaper business instead.
Tucker entered the newspaper business as a print shop worker in Coulee City and Portland, Oregon, before moving to Snohomish in 1949. Tucker became the co-owner of the Snohomish Tribune and served on the city’s chamber of commerce for several years, before selling his share and joining The Everett Herald. In 1965, he was named the managing editor of The Herald’s Western Sun edition, covering southern Snohomish County. He continued to be involved in community politics, later joining the Mountlake Terrace chamber of commerce and the Lynnwood Koffee Klatch, a group of southern Snohomish County business leaders. Tucker was one of the founding members of the Association of Washington Generals, along with Lieutenant GovernorJohn Cherberg.