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.
Larry McTague - Friend
I first met Gene when Vitas Gerulaitus bought Gene into my night club in the early 70's. We remained great friends ever since. It was a privelege to have had the opportunity to know him,I will never forget his thoughtfulness,his great sense of humor, his artistry on the courts and kindness.
I know Gene and Vitas will hook up as double partners and take on all comers in Heaven.
Please pass my heartfelt sympathy to Polly, his children, family and his tennis week family.
God Bless You Gene Scott

Stanley Sirgutz, D.D.S
I met Gene around 1980. He organized an incredible tennis event in Antigua. That week had a very positive impact on my life. I have been a Tennis Week subscriber ever since. Rest in piece, and thank you.

Mike Silverman-City Parks Foundation
All of us at City Parks Foundation are deeply saddened to hear about Gene Scott's passing, having spoken with him just a week earlier at a planning meeting he attended for our annual tennis benefit. Like many others, I was fortunate to have known Gene as a friend and advisor. His views were always insightful and provocative, and we will all miss him for his passion and life-long contribution to the sport of tennis. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Joe Del Priore
In the spring of '82 I was 34 and not feeling that great about my life. Without knowing much about tennis, I decided to submit a piece to TW, the first thing I'd written since college. My style was unlike anything in tennis magazines. He not only used it, but put it on the cover. In the ensuing years I've been published over 500 times in dozens of venues. His guts in publishing me changed my life.This is a great loss to writers, especially those who push the envelope.

Charles G. Phillips for the River Club in New York
Those of us fortunate enough to play with Gene regularly for many years at the River Club miss him profoundly. Gene was admired at our club for the interest in took in others, the competitive drive that fueled him in all that he did, the high standards he set for comportment and, of course, play, and, most importantly, for the generosity of spirit that he always displayed. The locker Gene used is located at the busiest intersection in the locker room and it was impossible to get past him without laughing out loud at his always well-directed and trenchant observations. He was a very funny man.

The high regard in which Gene was held reflected his strength at the core: Gene said what needed to be said, provided leadership when others were abdicating, acted selflessly in the face of problems, and always placed what was right ahead of what was easy. Our membership honored Gene at its annual tennis dinner in 2004 for his amazing accomplishments as a player and to express our appreciation for his friendship and his contributions to our community of tennis players. I wrote the following remarks for that evening's program.

Eugene L. Scott, 2004 River Club Tennis Dinner Honoree

We are honoring Gene Scott for winning the USTA National Men’s Over Sixty-Five Grass Court National Championships; the Tennis Committee noted with pride the distinction for our small club of having two national champions in 2003. It is worth noting that, thanks to Gene, the club has always been able to count on having at least one national champion in the club, because Gene’s national singles title last summer was at least his thirtieth--an almost unimaginable total. Gene’s international record is distinguished by any standard: ranked in America’s top ten five times and eleventh in the world in 1965; member of the U.S. Davis Cup team; quarterfinalist, French Championships; semi-finalist, U.S. Championships. Gene’s accomplishments in national age group tennis and his amazing collection of gold balls (awarded by the USTA to national champions) are remarkable; the quality, consistency and longevity of Gene’s record put him among a small group of the greatest senior players in U.S. history. Gene has consistently sought to test himself against far younger players at the highest level of competition and succeeded brilliantly; in 2003, for example, he was the number one ranked player in the East for players fifty and over while in his sixty-sixth year.

Gene’s influence in the world of tennis, and the world at large, has gone far beyond his playing achievements. As the founder (in 1974) and publisher of Tennis Week, Gene has had a powerful voice in our sport, consistently speaking out for reform and integrity in the professional game. Gene has written eighteen books on tennis, written widely in national publications on sport, and served as a television commentator, most notably in the famed “Battle of the Sexes” between Riggs and King. Gene has directed some of the great tennis tournaments in the world, including the Nabisco Masters (1986-1990) and developed and produced the Kremlin Cup in 1990, a tournament that has become Moscow’s most celebrated annual sporting event. Gene has been a leader in bringing great tennis to unexplored regions of the tennis world.

Gene has served tennis at the highest level as a former President of the Eastern Tennis Association, President of the International Lawn Tennis Club, Vice President of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Board member of the USTA and counsel to the U.S. Open. In recognition of his service to the game and his accomplishments as a player and publisher, Gene was inducted into the ETA Hall of Fame in 1989, received the Allison Danzig Journalism Award in 1993, the William Johnston Award in 1963 and the Souders Memorial Award in 1983.

John Hursh
What a shock to lose a giant of the tennis world. Gene spanned so many generations, both with his play and other interests, that it is not surprising the huge reaction to his passing; to tennis folks he seemed a person who had been and would be around forever. If you happened to be somewhere that something big was happening in the tennis world, chances were that you would see Gene. His "Tennis Week" is by far the finest tennis publication ever--it always respects the intelligence of the tennis-sophisticated reader. If I ever missed a big match on TV I felt that I could read about it in Tennis Week and would get the real scoop. Condolences to Gene's family. His passing is a true loss for the sport and for those who love tennis as much as he did.

Linda Pentz
I’ve written something for Tennis Week so won’t dwell here except to say that, well, Gene, you’ve done it again; brought us all together once more here on these pages. What a walk down memory lane to read all this – and to touch briefly the people and the moments that Gene brought into all of our lives. As a journalist I always believed that anybody once stopped in the street would have a great story to tell. But when there are hundreds of amazing stories just about one person – well, that’s greatness indeed. When I first met Gene in England in 1979 and he offered me the editor’s job at Tennis Week in New York, some people warned me off him. I’m glad I didn’t listen!
Linda Pentz Gunter, editor, Tennis Week, 1979-1984.

Karen P. - Tennis Week reader
I've been reading Tennis Week since I first became a USTA member 20 years ago when I was 10. I always looked forward to reading Gene's columns as they were for serious tennis fans. I was even happier when he took the magazine on line.

Even though I never met the man, as a loyal TW reader, I felt his impact on the game. I was in shock when I learned about his death. There will never be another one like you Gene, rest in peace. My thoughts and prayers are with your loved ones.

Jill Fonte, Chair, USTA Tennis Innovation Committee

You were the "real deal"...always true to yourself, always having the courage of your convictions. You set a great example for all who knew with you. Your contribution was mighty. You will be sorely missed.

Jocelyn Cruz
I had the fortunate pleasure to have worked for Gene at Tennis Week. He was very encouraging to me, and I admired his dedication to the tennis world. I was shocked to hear the news of his death and I wanted to express my sympathies to the Tennis Week family and of course to his wife and children. Thanks for all you have done Gene, and rest in peace.

Wayne Davies
I partnered Gene in my first ever tournament in the States in 1981. He was helpful in so many ways from this point, continuing on after my retirement. His insight into both my game and that of the opponents was amazing - always succinct and right to the heart of the matter. It is hard to believe that he is not just a phone call away...

Pat Calabria
From my days as a tennis writer for Newsday, I remember Gene as a man who always displayed class. He was willing to share his expertise, provide insight, and be a friend. I remember him fondly. He once told me that Andre Agassi had the tools to win Wimbledon. He was right.

Steve Schott
What can you say?Gene was fun, a renaissance man, a tennis historian, a quality human being who loved the wonderful game of tennis. There is a void in the tennis world today. Our sympathies to Polly, Sam and Lucy.
Meredith, Whitney and Steve Schott

Tom McDermott-Friend
I grew up in Forest Hills Gardens, across the street, in fact, from the entrance to The West Side Tennis Club. From my first Nationals in 1956, into the 70’s, I saw all of the premier players of that era play. Gene’s grass court style was right up there with the best: Hoad, Rosewall, Frazier, Bueno, Gibson, Laver and Emerson to name a few.

Gene might not have had the winning record or the trophies that those players had, but, in terms of competitive spirit, athleticism, just plain artistry, he was in their league. Sitting behind the stadium court, portals 1,2,3 or 8,9,10, one really got a look at how shots moved along the turf in a way that you didn’t get when watching from the courtside boxes or the marquee. Gene had this magnificent serve, not as powerful as Roger Taylor or Frank Froehling, who attempted to remove all the fuzz from the balls, but picture perfect. Gene got the ball up high out in front of him, bending down and cocking his arm, his handsome face compacted into his right shoulder. As with all great grass-court servers, his ball leaped sideways at the bounce like a cricket ball. Invariably, he was quick into the net behind it. On his best days, he was a match for anyone in the game in his prime.

I remember him walking from the clubhouse to the courts, sweater wrapped around his shoulders, carrying, like all the players five or six racquets (Kramers for him, I think). Did the women notice him? Definitely.

Many years later we were fellow members of Manursing Island Club in Rye, where Polly had lived. A couple of years ago I played in the club’s mixed tournament with a friend and we were scheduled to play Gene and Polly. My friend was terrified that she would be embarrassed playing such an accomplished player and she knew that Polly was a fine player in her own right. Naturally, Gene and Polly brought our games up a couple of notches and we made our best shots, but, of course, we only had a game or two.

Lifetime players truly file away only a handful of remembered matches, some won, some lost. I and my friend filed that one away, because we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, while being trounced. Afterwards, Gene and I chatted about the old days at Forest Hills. I had recently played with Rosewall there, only yards away from where I had seen my first match in 1956. Gene seemed interested. I think that he really cared about that stuff: not the private “clubby” days of competitive tennis, but the days when artistry counted, the tradition of competing with respect for opponents. We were both concerned about the dreary nature of the game today, particularly the men’s game.

Odds are that, beyond this world, there are playing fields of some sort, and, if that’s so, there are tools for playing some games too. Whatever those games are, Gene’s probably already got a style that works and is moving up the ladder, while bugging officials to make some changes here and there to make it better.
Tom McDermott

Bob Whiston-Friend
I was shocked, as many in the racquet sports community are, to hear about the passing of our great friend Gene Scott. I worked closley with Gene, Bobbi and Carol at Tennis Week for two and a half decades while at Head Sports, Dunlop/Slazenger and Bolle. I will always remember our days, evenings and outings together on the courts and special events.

Gene was an all around gentleman, one to look up to, respect and hold in the highest regard. He will be missed dearly!
Please pass on this message to his family, and associates at TennisWeek for me.
God bless you dear one....

Peter Jackson/ Lucinda Smith
We have enjoyed the company of Gene and his family here in Maine. Our thoughts are with his entire family.
Peter and Lucy

Fabia Wargin
Though I haven't spoken to him in years, I was very sad to learn of Gene's death. Gene gave me my first “real job”, as art director of Tennis Week in 1980. Actually, he didn't want to hire me. I had very little experience, I was not very attractive and I didn't play tennis...but Maggie liked me and he listened to Maggie. And probably he was a little interested because I made him laugh. But when he saw how hard I worked and decided he liked what I was doing, he was truly supportive. He bought me typesetting equipment and set up a darkroom...this was before desktop publishing . . . and when I decided it was time to move on, feeling I had gained all the career experience his office had to offer, Gene got me a free-lance job designing a logo for the MIPTC. Without Gene, my life would probably have taken a very different path. I have incredible memories and lasting friendships from my two years at Tennis Week. I'll never forget there is no such thing as a free lunch, or the power of bartering. Cheers to Great Scott! I'll never forget you.

The West Side Tennis Club at Forest Hills
The Board of Governors and Members of the West Side Tennis Club regret the passing of Eugene L. Scott and wish to send their sincere condolences to his family.

Gene served as tournament director of the WCT Tournament of Champions under Lamar Hunt who held the event at Forest Hills from 1980-1989. He also played in the U.S. Nationals - the precursor to the U.S. Open, while it was held at Forest Hills, reaching the semi-finals in 1967, losing to John Newcombe who went on to win the tournament that year.

More recently, Gene, as founder and publisher of TennisWeek magazine, co-hosted the annual Intercollegiate Tennis Awards luncheon with Nick Bollettieri at West Side each year. The West Side Tennis Club wishes to express it's gratutude to Gene Scott for all he did to preserve the honor and dignity of our club.

Nicholas Leone, Tennis Week contributing writer, hitting partner, and friend
I am saddened that for all of us life will not be the same without Gene. Gene loved tennis and was such a great ambassador for the game because Gene loved people, had faith in them, and believed in sportsmanship. He was a gentleman and helped us all to live better on and off the court. Now we can do the same for others in tennis and in life.

cybele kadagian
gene- although I only met you several years ago through randy jones; the times spent with you always touched me in some way. You made feel included and heard. I sensed a special man, with great compassion, kindness, generosity and wit. A man who listens, cares and loves his family and life. I felt I was in the presence of some shining star.
After being among the hundreds upon hundreds of friends, family and colleagues at your incredible touching, warm and loving service, my feelings about you being a shining star were affirmed.
Gene, it is a GREAT HUGE LOSS to us all to have you leave us so early~ you are sorely missed. I am so saddened.
Thank you for all that you have done for us all- and being a humanitarian of life. We are all so lucky to have known you and been touched by you,
May god bless you and care for you the same way you have given to us all.
Peace and deepest love to you up above, and Polly, Lucy and Sam...may your shining star shine on us all from up above...
love, cybele

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