Jim Tucker, M.D.
Jim B. Tucker was born in Goldsboro, North Carolina, on January 1, 1960. He attended the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Psychology in 1982. Four years later he received his M.D. degree from the same institution. He has resided in Charlottesville, Virginia, since 1986. He was Board certified in Adult Psychiatry and in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in 1992 and served as Medical Director of the Child and Family Psychiatry Clinic at the University of Virginia for nine years, from 1992 until 2001.
Tucker was raised a Southern Baptist and never seriously entertained the idea of reincarnation until he read Children Who Remember Previous Lives: A Question of Reincarnation by Ian Stevenson. He contacted Stevenson, who also was at the University of Virginia, and shortly thereafter, in 1999, accepted a part time position in Stevenson’s Division of Personality Studies (now Division of Perceptual Studies, DOPS) of the UVA Medical Center. The next year, he gave up his private practice and went to work at DOPS full time with a UVA faculty position. After Stevenson’s death in 2007, he succeeded him in overseeing DOPS reincarnation research. In 2012 he was appointed Bonner-Lowry Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences.
Tucker has conducted fieldwork with children who claim to remember having lived before in Burma and Thailand along with psychologist Jürgen Keil and the two have published several joint papers (Keil & Tucker, 2000; Keil & Tucker, 2005; Tucker & Keil, 2001; Tucker & Keil, 2013). He has also studied the Scottish case of Cameron, described in his book Return to Life: Extraordinary Cases of Children Who Remember Past Lives. However, he has come to specialize in American cases, reported in Return to Life and in his earlier book, Life Before Life: Children's Memories of Previous Lives. He has also published a scale to measure the strength of children’s past-life memories (Tucker, 2000) and, with UVA medical student Poonam Sharma, a study of children’s memories of the interval between lives (Sharma & Tucker, 2004). In addition, he collaborated with Antonia Mills on a review of the past-life memory phenomenon that appeared in the book Varieties of Anomalous Experience: Examining the Scientific Evidence, published by the American Psychological Association in 2013.
Tucker’s work was featured in an article by Sean Lyons in the Winter, 2013, issue of the University of Virginia Maganize. His investigation of Cameron is documented in the The Boy Who Lived Before, available on YouTube. Tucker has made several media presentations about his research, some of which have been posted to YouTube also: Scientific cases for Reincarnation by Dr Jim Tucker, Friendly Fire: Life Before Life (featuring Dr. Jim B. Tucker), and Reincarnation – Ian Stevenson – Childrens past life memorie [sic]. He and his wife have four children.
Personal communication from Jim Tucker
Publications on Reincarnation
Keil, [H. H.] J., & Tucker, J. B. (2000). An unusual birthmark case linked to a person who had previously died. Psychological Reports, 87, 1067-1074.
Keil, H. H. J., & Tucker, J. B. (2005). Children who claim to remember previous lives: Cases with written records made before the previous personality was identified. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 19, 91–101.
Keil, H. H. J., & Tucker, J. B. (2010). Response to “How to improve the study and documentation of cases of the reincarnation type? A reappraisal of the case of Kemal Atasoy.” Journal of Scientific Exploration, 24, 295–298.
Tucker, J. B. (2000). A scale to measure the strength of children’s claims of previous lives: Methodology and initial findings. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 14, 571-581.
Tucker, J. B. (2005). Life Before Life: Children's Memories of Previous Lives. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
Tucker, J. B. (2007). Children who claim to remember previous lives: Past, present and future research. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 21, 543-552.
Tucker, J. B. (2008). Children's reports of past-life memories: A review. Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, 4, 244-248.
Tucker, J. B. (2013). Return to Life: Extraordinary Cases of Children Who Remember Past Lives. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
Tucker, J. B., & Keil, H. H. J. (2001). Can cultural beliefs cause a gender identity disorder? Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality, 13, 21-30.
Tucker, J. B., & Keil, H. H. J. (2013). Experimental birthmarks: New cases of an Asian practice. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 27, 269–282.