outstripped the few occasions on which he exhibited any
uncharitable reactions. In particular, his generosity toward
charitable causes was extraordinary. Conservative estimates
suggest that in thirty years Tucker contributed his services
to raising more than $200 million for a broad range of
causes. In return, he received a wealth of honors--among
them the First Annual B'nai B'rith Award, The Handel
Medallion, the National Interfaith Council Award, the Louis
B. Brandeis Medal for Service to Humanity, a gold medal from
the City of Vienna for his cultural contributions, the State
of Israel's first Artistic and Cultural Award, a gold plaque
for distinguished service to Israel during its formative
years, and the coveted Order of the Commendatore, Italy's
highest civilian honor.
Shortly after his death, the
Richard Tucker Music
chartered by his family "to perpetuate
the memory of America's greatest tenor through projects in
aid of gifted young singers."
"Man and artist, Tucker left his
mark on the history of his time, and in so doing ensured for
himself an immortality reserved for a very few. Poetically
and nobly, the words of the great rabbis speak to its
Death comes whispering to me:
'Thy days are ended.'
Let me say to him:
'I have lived in love and not in mere time.'
He will ask:
'Will you songs remain?'
I shall reply:
'I know not, but this I do know,
That often when I sang my songs,
I found my own eternity.' "