Tucker Carlson Family History
Tucker McNear Carlson was born on May 16th, 1969 to Dick and Lisa Carlson in San Francisco. Tucker was raised at La Jolla near San Diego by his father and his stepmother Patricia. That was after his mother Lisa had left their home when Tucker was six.
Though a lackluster student, Tucker was an avid reader who had devoured War and Peace by the age of ten. He became a debate team star at his boarding school in Rhode Island. It was there that he met and wooed the headmaster’s daughter Susan Andrews who became his wife in 1991.
Tucker began his media career with a bow-tie in the 1990’s, writing for The Weekly Standard and other publications. He was a CNN commentator and a co-host of the network’s prime-time debate program Crossfire from 2001 to 2005; and from 2005 to 2008 he hosted the MSNBC nightly program Tucker.
However, it has been with Fox News, which he joined in 2009, where he has honed his TV presentational skills to cater for a conservative audience aroused by President Trump’s histrionics. His Tucker Carlson Tonight, launched in 2016, became the most watched cable news program on American TV.
Things changed in April 2023 when Tucker was fired from his position at Fox News – much to his surprise and that of his viewers. This happened two weeks after Fox News settled for $787 million a defamation case brought by Dominion Systems over Fox’s reporting of the 2020 election. The two events were probably related.
The Paternal Line – Boyntons
With a surname like Carlson, you might think that Tucker had Scandinavian genes in him. Not a bit of it! His father was adopted and started out life as a Boynton.
The Boyntons were English, from Yorkshire, and were first found in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the 1640’s. Tucker’s Boynton line has been traced back to Samuel and Mary Boynton who were married in Boston, Massachusetts in 1865.
What happened to Samuel’s great grandson Richard Boynton was tragic.
In 1941 Richard was an 18 year old college student when he and Dorothy Anderson, then a 15 year-old junior at high school, had a baby son. This son was born with rickets and mildly bent legs as Dorothy had starved herself in order to keep her pregnancy a secret. The child was then dropped off by her mother at a Boston orphanage.
Richard later wanted Dorothy to help kidnap their baby and run away and marry him. The night she refused in 1943, he shot and killed himself two blocks away from Dorothy’s house.
Another story about his death was published in the local newspaper. His father told the police that Richard had taken his own life after having been rejected for service by the army and navy because of a physical defect.
The Carlson Line
Six weeks after his birth, the baby Richard Boynton had been given to The Home for Little Wanderers, an orphanage in Boston. After the home ran a classified ad about him in the local papers, Carl and Florence Moberger agreed to foster him until a family could be found to adopt him.
It was two years later, in 1943, that Richard was adopted by upper-middle-class New Englanders, the Carlson family. And Richard Boynton became Dick Carlson.
In his early twenties, Dick Carlson migrated west to California and got a job as a copyist with the Los Angeles Times. He later was an investigative journalist, became a banker, ran for mayor of San Diego, and got known in Californian political circles. President Reagan appointed him as the director of Voice of America in 1986 and a later appointment saw him CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
Dick Carlson was said to be an active father who had a specific outlook in raising his sons:
“I want them to be self-disciplined to the degree that I think is necessary to find satisfaction. You measure a person on how far they go, on how far they’ve sprung. My parents, the Carlsons, they instilled a modesty in me that at times gets in my way. I know it’s immodest of me to say it, but it’s difficult sometimes when you want to beat your own drum and say what you really think.”
The Maternal Lines – Lombardi and Swanson
Tucker’s mother was an artist and San Francisco native Lisa Lombardi. She was descended from a Swiss immigrant Cesar Lombardi who had come to America in 1860. It was she who gave Tucker his names of McNear and Tucker from her more illustrious American ancestors:
- from her great grandfather George W. McNear (born in 1837)
- and from her great great grandfather Dr. Joseph C. Tucker (born in 1828).
However, Tucker had little connection with this mother whom he could only remember as “bohemian.” The family relationship had quickly turned sour and when Tucker was six she abandoned them and America for France.
In 1979 when Tucker was ten, his father remarried – to Patricia Swanson, the Swanson Foods heiress. Immediately after the marriage, Patricia officially adopted the two sons – Tucker and Buckley – and Tucker gained a new second name of Swanson.
The Swansons had originated in Omaha, Nebraska and it was Patricia’s grandfather Carl Swanson who founded the food company there in 1899. By the 1950’s when his son Gilbert was running the business, Swanson was known as the company that brought the TV dinner to the American family.
But all was not well within the Swanson family. Gilbert was a loving but distant and demanding father, often communicating with his children by memo carried by messenger from the Swanson Building. Patricia lost her mother Roberta, Gilbert’s wife, when she was fourteen and her father Gilbert Sr. in 1968 when she was twenty-three. Patricia then embarked on two quick but failed marriages.
The Swansons had by that time sold their food business and they proceeded to squander the funds that they received. One misplaced investment was in a Here’s Johnny restaurant chain honoring Johnny Carson, a fellow native of Nebraska. Patricia’s brother Jay, depressed, committed suicide in 1975.
From her home in San Diego Patricia would complain about how her brothers had been running the business, but being a sister was ignored. She was still a Swanson heiress, yet after the settlement made in 1978, the Swanson estate was markedly diminished.
A year later she married Dick Carlson.
Postscript: Tucker’s Parable
Tucker wrote this on January 7, 2021, the day after the Trumpian insurrection in Washington DC. His written text was recovered during Dominion’s discovery of documents in its defamation case against Fox News.
“A couple of weeks ago, I was watching video of people fighting on the street in Washington. A group of Trump guys surrounded an Antifa kid and started pounding the living shit out of him. It was three against one, at least. Jumping a guy like that is dishonorable obviously. It’s not how white men fight.
Yet suddenly I found myself rooting for the mob against the man, hoping they’d hit him harder, kill him. I really wanted them to hurt the kid. I could taste it.
Then somewhere deep in my brain, an alarm went off: this isn’t good for me. I’m becoming something I don’t want to be.
The Antifa creep is a human being. Much as I despise what he says and does, much as I’m sure I’d hate him personally if I knew him, I shouldn’t gloat over his suffering.
I should be bothered by it. I should remember that somewhere somebody probably loves this kid, and would be crushed if he was killed. If I don’t care about those things, if I reduce people to their politics, how am I better than he is.”
Tucker Carlson’s Family Tree
- The Boynton Line
- Samuel Boynton (1840-1883) m. Mary Dorthy (b. 1842) in Boston in 1865
- – George Boynton (1866-1931)
- George Boynton m. Gladys Ballard (1867-1923)
- – George Boynton (1891-1952)
- – Francis (Frank) Boynton (1896-1962)
- – Chester Boynton (1900-1949) m. Carrie Allen
- Francis (Frank) Boynton m. Helen Marshall (1895-1986)
- – Richard Boynton ((1922-1943), committed suicide
- Richard Boynton and Dorothy Anderson (b. 1926)
- – Richard (Dick) Boynton/Carlson (b. 1941)
- The Carlson Line
- Richard (Dick) Carlson (b. 1941) m. Lisa McNear Lombardi (1945-2011) in San Francisco in 1967, divorced in 1976; rem. Patricia Swanson (b. 1945) in San Diego in 1979
- – Tucker Carlson (b. 1969)
- – Buckley Carlson (b. 1971) m. Melissa Price
- Tucker Carlson m. Susan Andrews (b. 1969) in Rhode Island in 1991
- – Lilie Carlson (b. 1995)
- – Buckley Carlson (b. 1997)
- – Hopie Carlson (b. 1999)
- – Dorothy Carlson (b. 2002)
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