Robert Cinnamond Tucker was born in Senatobia, Mississippi on October 16, 1915, the son of Benjamin Archer Tucker and Bessie Agnes (Cinnamond) Tucker. 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 downtown campus to the current location, and into a new library.
Robert and his second wife traveled extensively both before and after his retirement, amassing a collection of materials from Asia, Africa, Europe, North and South America that form the collection.