Eugene L. Scott, 1937 - 2006

The passing of Tennis Week founder and publisher Eugene L. Scott has prompted an outpouring of love, support, condolences and tributes from Scott's friends, colleagues and readers.

Obituary (The New York Times)

If you'd like to post a tribute, please submit it here.
Billie Jean King, Hall of Famer and friend
As a player, promoter, journalist and ardent supporter of the great sport of tennis, Gene Scott brought so much to our world and we all are better for having worked with him to grow the sport. He challenged the way we look at tennis and pushed us to make the sport better for everyone. Gene will be missed and our thoughts and prayers are with Polly and Gene's family.

Shamil Tarpischev, President of Russian Tennis Federation, Russian Davis Cup and Fed Cup captain
It is with deep sorrow that we learned of the death of Mr. Eugene L. Scott. All of us remember fruitful cooperation with Mr. Scott for 10 ATP Kremlin Cup tournaments (1990-1999) starting from its foundation. Please accept our condolences over the loss of a man whose work and personality have contributed so much to the development of tennis all over the world. Also, please pass our sincere sympathy to his family.

Vica (Vinogradova) Miller, friend, former TW staffer/Kremlin Cup Advertising Director
To Gene,

You were the most important person in my life: friend, mentor, inspiration and an example to live by. You never ceased to amaze me with your wit, spirit, integrity and class. You taught me so much about life and business — you gave me a ticket to survival in New York. I called you my God Father; you laughed, but we both knew it was true.

I want to thank you for everything you’ve done for me and for my family. I want to thank you for believing in Russia and its people, for your heart capable of curing troubles of so many people around the world. I love you, and I miss you. My thoughts are with Polly, Lucy and Sam, and with all those who were lucky to have you as a friend.

Pam Shriver, Friend
Gene touched many a generation of tennis players but most of all he touched our sport like few others have or ever will. His legacy lives on in many ways most beautifully through his children. Those of us left to pick up the pieces of our sport should keep Gene's honesty, dedication and innovation in mind. We can all do better. Tennis deserves our best. Thanks Gene for being a friend and helping me win the odd match along the way. Pam ShriverIIMarch 23, 2006

Alexander Vainshteyn, former Moscow Kremlin Cup Director and Publisher of The Moscow News
Gene was that rare kind of person, whom once you met, you realize that he influenced your whole life, in an incredibly positive way. I was always proud to have known him, and considered him my teacher — not only in tennis, but also in the world of humans, of which he was the greatest. My deepest condolences to his family.

ITA Executive Director and friend David A. Benjamin
The Intercollegiate Tennis Association extends its deepest sympathies to Gene's family, colleagues and friends. We are stunned and deeply saddened to learn of his passing. He was a unique figure in the world of tennis, a great player, writer, publisher, promoter, contrarian, and an extraordinarily creative force — a passionate and uncompromising advocate for the sport of tennis, at all levels and all seasons of the game. Our world of college tennis has been incredibly fortunate to have benefited from his encouragement and steadfast support over so many special years. We will all miss Gene terribly.

Ray Benton, President KSB Ventures and friend
It's impossible to figure out where to start. We've lost a wonderful loyal friend who always gave us the benefit of 'straight talk', whether we liked to hear it or not. Gene was one of the few sources of straight talk and objectivity in discussing our sport. I loved discussing things with Gene, sometimes agreeing and often times expressing much different points of view. You could always be assured that he was giving you his real thoughts. I have always admired his complete intellectual honesty as the tennis ombudsman that we so needed. Can anyone replace his 'voice' with so much knowledge and the courage to speak out? What a loss to each of us who called him a friend and also to the sport we love!!

Steve Bellamy, Tennis Channel founder and friend
I can't think of anyone in the history of tennis as versed or knowledgeable in every discipline as Gene Scott. He is absolutely one of the reasons that there is a Tennis Channel, as at a time when many in the other media businesses were worried about building a competitor, Gene and a small handful of people were worried about getting more tennis on television. His personality, knowledge, perspectives and opinions, were revered in the industry. He was a fountain of truth, an ambassador of all that was right about the sport and a person who's legacy is as large as any will ever be. He was sophisticated and worldly yet incredibly humble and inclusive. On a personal note, he was a great friend who I was fortunate to spend countless hours with. Those hours will be some of my most cherished. Love and peace be with everyone impacted by this tragedy.

John G. Davis
As a board member for 25 years at the Tennis Hall of Fame, and a schoolmate in the early 50's, I saw Gene as an athlete and an astute giant of the game of tennis. His contributions to the Hall of Fame, and the tennis world in general, were enormous. You always had the feeling that Gene knew what he was talking about, and if he didn't (which was seldom) he sure sounded right on the money.
He will be missed by many. Godspeed..............

Gordon Lamb, Friend and old neighbor
Hard to believe that he is gone. A lasting memory is of a youngster, hardly taller than his racquet was long, asking to hit with me at the Nissequague Beach Club whenever I turned up early for a match. Would that my game could have progressed along with his

Sam Campbell-Marketing Consultant and Wannabe Player
did not know Gene really well, but we certainly had some interesting and amusing and rewarding interactions over the years. Thirty years ago this year, I covered an indoor women’s tournament in Boston for the fledgling Tennis Week; hazy memory says Martina beat Goolagong in the finals. My editor was a friend from prep school, Sarah Slater, and perhaps she was stretched a little thin. I wrote my copy with a wise-ass line….”the $400,000 purse, which included a pair of Bud Collins’ green and pink boxer shorts…,” mailed it off, thinking Sarah would eyeball it, chuckle and delete the offending phrase. Copy was printed verbatim; I gather Gene received a couple calls.

In 1991 the USTA posted a job listing for public relations director, and because it was advertised in the New York Times, it elicited over 900 responses. I thought I was well qualified, and I must have wanted it pretty badly; Gene kept telling me "you have absolutely zero chance of getting that position." I resolutely soldiered on; Gene proved right. br>
In 2002, my family scheduled a London visit for a few days in June, my wife expressed a desire to go to Wimbledon, and the only person I could think to turn to was Gene.
He procured us tickets (at a small appreciation for his foundation). He told me to pick up the tickets at the Ritz, and he told me he would be sitting in the Royal box that day. We followed instructions, picked up the tickets, and within 50 yards out there on Piccadilly, I lost all three tickets.With my wife looking at me like I should check into witness protection, we went out to Wimbledon anyway, and talked our way into the ticket office. We explained our benefactor had reported he would be sitting in the Royal box that day, and somewhat dubiously the officials made a call to same Royal box. Gene was tracked down and said something to the effect of , yes, that’s the moron I left the tickets for, and we were reissued the same seats with security assistance.

Last year, we repeated this ritual, although it’s likely the tickets were not permitted to enter my hands. We met Gene at an apartment in Mayfair, and we walked for what seemed like 30 minutes past Buckingham Palace and beyond to where Gene had an All England tournament vehicle waiting. All the way out Gene charmed my family, while simultaneously shooting digital camera shots out the window. It was a delightful experience for all of us, and later that day, my 13-year oldstep-son, sitting in his appointed seat at Center Court, kept trying to hand-signal Gene, once again sitting in the Royal Box. No response; Gene perhaps had bigger fish to fry; maybe he was afraid I had lost the tickets again. br>Here’s to you Scotty.

Gordon Jorgensen
When I became Presidnet OF U.S.T.A.,a number of people said "Get ready for some big mistakes"- but they were wrong in one instant,I made Gene Scott a presidential adviser - a brilliant choice!! I got the benefit of his tremendous grasp of the game and its many needs, without having to regularly read the editorial page of TENNIS WEEK to find out what I was doing!!! I miss him!

George Dartt-Friend
I asked Gene to play with me at a major platform tennis event in Rye and the only team willing to play us was the two-time national champions. Gene said he wanted the experience of platform tennis but only wanted to play one match.

Gene could not get his good serve to land in the court so he pushed the ball over. Never in my life had I seen the return hit so hard at me!! I poached at net on Gene once that lifted my spirits!! Well, we went to a 4-1 lead in the final set before finally losing 8-6. I asked him after would he have continued play after a win and his reply: "We will never know."

Prince Jacob Akindele, Friend
Since the first day I met him during the US Amateur Grasscourt Championships at the Meadow Club, Southampton in the summer of 1970, Gene was ever my dear friend. When he started Tennis News (a tabloid), I helped place copies in many indoor tennisclubs all over Long Island. He got me and Lindsey Beaven of Britain into the Mixed Doubles Draw in the US Open in 1974, the last year it was played on grass. After my return to Nigeria in the years 1976 to 1998, we met every year at Wimbledon. My return to the US in 1998 was facilitated by Gene. All through this, he was a true friend and caring brother. Our favourite discussion was on his attitude about spirituality. He felt it was "asenine" for anyone to believe in life after death. A few days after the passing of his dear mother, Mrs Lucy Scott, in 2002, we had lunch in Rye. I told him that an educated man would not dismiss as non-existent something he did not yet know. He said, "You have a point there, Jacob." To me, that was assurance that he then chose to have an open mind on the matter.I will miss him dearly. Tennis will miss him greatly.It is my hope that his passing would serve as a catalyst for many to reconsider their attitudes about spirituality and the validity of psychic phenomena.
Prince Jacob Akindele, Lagos Nigeria.

Mark Knowles
Gene was the one who engineered bringing my idol (Bjorn Borg) to the Bahamas when I was a kid. He was also the person who gave me my first and only wildcard into an ATP event @ The Kremlin Cup. These are only a few of the ways that Gene helped my career.. Beyond this, he was a remarkably intelligent, humble person, who always had time for my family and I. Gene, you have meant so much to me personally, as well as my family and the entire country of the Bahamas. Our thoughts and prayers are with Polly, Lucy and Sam.. We love you...

Joshua Zimman
I was shocked and deeply saddened by the news of Gene's passing. I asked myself how could a man with so much grace, strength, class and intellect leave us so early? The ease and style with which Gene lived his life and accomplished his goals were truly remarkable.

Gene and I became close enough to talk every few months over the last twenty years and each of those conversations left me with something memorable and something learned. In addition, of course, for anyone who knew Gene, laughs were always plentiful.

When my father died, Gene sent me a heartfelt sympathy card and signed it "Uncle Gene." I called him that ever since. I will miss him.

All my best to what was most important to Gene, his family: Polly, Lucy and Sam.

Dorian Benkoil
I was stunned to learn of Gene Scott's death but pleased to see your tribute to a force of the (tennis) universe. I met Gene a couple of times, but the one that sticks out was when I was covering, I think, the Masters at Madison Square Garden. I told Gene I admired a column he'd written in which he had fearlessly challenged the tennis establishment.

Rather than bask in the praise, he launched into a discussion that encompassed world events, technology and science. He seemed a tad surprised that this part-time tennis journalist knew of Buckminster Fuller's geodesic dome. I was, meanwhile, impressed at how far beyond the world of tennis Gene's knowledge and interests ranged.

Dorian Benkoil
New York

Regina Burton-Tennis Week reader
I never met Eugene Scott, but I've read Vantage Point and felt the spirit of this honourable man. He spoke from his heart and touched me; he was a man with a conscience and a voice of truth and reason.

In my own small way I would like to pay tribute to Mr. Scott. God rest your soul, Sir.

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