Tippit was married to Marie Frances Gasaway on 26 December 1946 and had three children. That same year he went to work for the Dearborn Stove Company. He went to work for the Sears and Roebuck Company in March 1948 and worked in the installation department until September of 1949 when he moved to Lone Star, Texas and attempted cattle farming.
He attended a Veterans Administration vocational training school at Bogata, Texas from January 1950 until June 1952. He was then hired by the Dallas Police Department as a patrolman on July 28 1952. He served capably and was cited for bravery in 1956 for his role in disarming a fugitive.
On November 22, 1963 Tippit was assigned to patrol the Oak Cliff area of Dallas during the chaos immediately following the shooting of President Kennedy. Approximately 45 minutes after the Kennedy shooting, Tippit stopped a man later identified by witnesses as Lee Harvey Oswald. Tippit spoke briefly with Oswald and then stepped out of his patrol car. As Tippit walked toward the front of his car he was shot four times by the man identified as Oswald. The assailant was observed entering the nearby Texas Theater. Police entered the theater and arrested Lee Harvey Oswald after a brief struggle.
In January 1964 Tippit was awarded Medal of Valor from the National Police Hall of Fame and also received the Police Medal of Honor, the Police Cross, and the Citizens Traffic Commission Award of Heroism.
Tippit is buried at Laurel Land Memorial Park in Dallas, Texas.