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.
Gene changed the course of my life back in 1972, when he offered me a position as vice president of sports investors- i had worked for two years as a salesman with a NC based textile company, and my career was moving quite predictably into the ozone-
Gene "bet the ranch" that I would do as well, if not better, than the salary I was earning-- and with the success of our first tournament in south orange- formerly the somewhat defunct easter grass courts- newly named the Mediquick championships- I was off into a world of adventure far from the cavernous 7th avenue!!
Two years later, after a reversal of fortune with our Palm Beach Masters tournament-- where the sponsor decided on a different path-- Gene saw me floundering a bit, and did something so remarkable, i can remember it like it was yesterday... Knowing that i had the same passion for tennis, and had achieved some success on the eastern amateur circuit, and had been twice club champ at forest hills, he suggested I strike out and play the circuit. The idea had obvious adventure all over it, but, at age 25, not a great likelihood of success. When i responded rather coldly to the idea, as I pointed out that I had not a nickle to my name, he wrote me a personal check for $3500- $2000 for the round the world ticket, and $1500 to survive-- I proceeded around the world for 13 months, having the most incredible time imaginable! Although Gene probably figured the $3500 was a write-off, I did manage to repay him about a year later-
As I departed from the tennis business in 1978, I am sad to say that I did not have the benefit of spending much time with Gene-- and later, Polly-- but i can say that I always knew Gene was a lightning rod in my life--the world I now enjoy, would not be here without Gene's influence-
Gino--as Kim and I called him-- has provided me with trememdous strength, knowing that I can go another course, and succeed. I only hope I can be such a valuable source of strength to someone else in my life-
My heart goes out to Polly, Lucy, and Sam--I am here for you if you ever need me--
|John Ippolito, Founder of Sportsinternational Tennis
Gene and I were partners this past October for the World Junior Tennis Challenge held in Nassau. I was with Gene when he literally fell to the ground while playing tennis with Kit Spencer from the Bahamas Tennis Association and he was very concerned about this occurence and shared with me that he was seeking medical advice for what was becoming the warning signs of something wrong. We spent a week together and most of our in depth conversations led to his health and his desire to fix it and lead a normal energetic life that he was used to. I picked up his wife Polly and their children for him at the airport and watched as Gene transformed from the "always business Gene" to super dad. To see him react when his children arrived was something I will never forget as Gene was nearly in tears as his family smothered him with affection. I also witnessed Scotty Paschall from the Christian Tennis Association share deep conversations with him about his faith after the tennis court incident and Gene was all ears and he seemed to be seeking a higher power. Gene accepted my offer to pray for him and his family and I do trust that he is resting peacefully with our Lord and Saviour. I will miss Gene as a business partner and a true friend and it was my honor to have had the opportunity to spend a week of quality time with him before his passing. I will miss him as a great business partner and a true friend.
|Scott Paschal, International Christian Tennis Association, Founder & President
Gene Scott became a member of the International Christian Tennis Association at the Nasdaq 100 Open in 2004. With Gene's guidance and mentoring, ICTA grew from members in 140 cities in 3 countries to having members in over 1500 cities in 44 countries. Gene opened doors and made things happen. In addition, Gene became my mentor.
I spent a week with Gene last December in Nassau assisting him with a tournament. He shared with me his failing health after he passed out on a tennis court during doubles. Gene was concerned. The doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong, but Gene knew it was serious. This man of immense power in the sporting world was losing this match and didn't know why. For the first time I saw Gene become afraid. I also then saw our roles reverse as I became the mentor.
For several days I shared my faith in Jesus Christ with Gene. I answered his questions to the best of my ability. I had always assumed he was Christian. As he asked question after question, I realized Gene was seeking and hadn't truly found. We discussed the life, death, and resurrection of Christ to the best of my ability.
Gene wrote me shortly after the new year. He wrote of his faith. I believe Gene Scott came to true belief in Jesus Christ. I also believe God brought Gene to our booth at the 2004 Nasdaq 100 Open for a reason. God used Gene to open (maybe kick down would be a better description) doors for ICTA, and He used me to answer Gene's questions.
Gene taught me many things. His tell it like it is personality and incredible work ethic were amazing. He believed in helping the little guy. Gene was thoughtful, modest, and genuine. The world is a better place and I'm a better person because of him.
Thanks for serving so hard Gene.
|Colin Dibley-Friend, Former No. 1 Australian Davis Cup Player
I came to know Gene in 1971 at the Eastern Grasscourts Tournament in South Orange, NJ. He has been one of the most prominent promoters of tournaments here in the east that I have participated in throughout my professional career and then into my Senior event participation. Gene has been one of the best advocates of tennis that I have ever met and he was a good friend. Gene will be sorely missed.
|Michael Danielov-CEO Bionova
It was my privilege to know Gene Scott. His nobility and love for tennis had no boundaries. Under his direct supervision BIONOVA company developed first products for Tennis Players. This special products for Tennis Line is one of his many legacies.
Eugene L. Scott was a Great Man. He will be missed and remembered.
Our sincere condolences to his family.
Michael Danielov, MD, Ph.D.
CEO and BIONOVA team
|Tatiana Lapteva-H.S. IC of Russia
On behalf of the IC of Russia I would like to deliver my deepest condolences to his family and express how much the whole IC family had lost as well.
Gene Scott was an initiator of the IC of Russia formation during the Kremlin Cup in 1997. Our members are grateful for this and will keep the warmest memories and great honor for this wonderful man.
I suppose that it has been a huge sorrow for all of us to lose our dearest friend.
I hope that mutual support of all IC's will help each of us to live through this news
My deepest regrets,
H.S. IC of Russia
|Christine Krais Schott
I also want to say how much I admire Polly, Lucy and Sam for having the grace and courage to speak so eloquently at Gene's memorial service. Gene would have been so proud. You, too, are an inspiration to us all.
|Christine Krais Schott, Special Events, TennisWeek
I have known Gene in so many respects --first as a player (through my father); then as an employer; but mostly importantly, as one of the dearest friends I've ever had, so it is difficult to sum up the loss I feel while at the same time acknowledging what a gift it was to have known him so well.
Like many others, I was fortunate to have spoken to Gene just days before he died. As usual, he was enthusiastically pursuing so many projects --some we were pursuing together...from TennisWeek business, to the USTA National Men's 35 Grass Courts at the Meadow Club in Southampton, to the stadium at The West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, and even the modeling business (which I am now also involved with), he was always there to lend his candid advice and support. I will truly miss that. And, I know I am not alone in feeling that way.
Thinking about all of this over the past few days since Gene died, and having had the opportunity to read the hundreds of tributes offered here, as well as having spoken to so many admirers and friends, it occurs to me that a most fitting tribute to Gene would be if we could each just try to see through to fruition whatever project we were working on with him at the time of his untimely death...It will certainly be harder to do without him, but wouldn't it be a wonderful way to do something for him?!
Tennis has lost as dear friend. We have all lost a dear friend, but Gene's inspiration lives on in each one of us!
If ever I met a man who knew virtually everything in tennis, it was Gene, and he was a maven in every aspect. He was a great player, administrator, promoter, historian, and most of all, a great personable human being.
When Gene spoke, everyone would hang onto every word, as we all knew it was coming from one of the most knowledgable people and would come from the heart and the brain.
I used to love every minute I was lucky enough to be around him and glean from his wisdom.
There is now a loss and a void has been created, that cannot be filled by anyone else.
I am only thankful for the honor I had in feeling I was his friend and for the privilege to learn from his words and deeds of wisdom.
To his family, my wife and I together with all the world of tennis, express our sincere condolences.
As a junior playing in the eastern section, one couldn't help but look up to Gene Scott. I had two opportunities to cross paths with Gene when I was about 16. First as a ballboy at, what I believe, was his tournament in Grand Central Station, and I was also introduced to him by my tennis teacher, Geo. Seewagen Sr., after one of Gene's matches at the Orange Grass Courts. I remember thinking, "boy, I would I love to grow up and be this guy." He was bright and friendly, on the tour, and a lawyer no less (which I wanted to be); and he had a beautiful new orange Datsun Z sports car. I continued to follow Gene's career and his writing at Tennis Week. His greatest contribution was his willingness to prod and challenge the governing powers of the game, and all of us really, to help the game reach its full potential. Needless to say, he will be missed.
I am very saddened to hear of Gene Scott's passing. The tennis world lost one of their most loyal and devoted ambassadors. His passion, dedication, and enthusiasm toward the sport I love can not be replaced. My condolences to his family, friends, and loved ones. Sincerely, Justin Gimelstob
|Ferd Starbuck, Friend and Sports Investors "volunteer".
What sad news!! I couldn't believe it. It is a "real" lost to so many people and to the game of tennis. I first met Gene 30 years ago throught our friend the late Kim Prince. I wanted to get into the business side of tennis and Gene couldn't have been more helpful.We kept in touch and he was always interested in how I was doing...a very generous guy.
Besides being a beautiful human being, he had a classic and beautiful tennis game. I think I even ball boyed for him at Forest Hills.
He will really be missed!!
|Fritz Buehning - Friend, player
I was completely shocked to learn of Gene's passing. He was one of the few "people of influence" in tennis that I have truly respected. Obviously, a great player in his own right and time, but more importantly, a true friend and ambassador for our sport. At last year's U.S. Open I sat with him in the Final 8 box for one of the men's semis along with his wife and children. Gene cared so deeply about the game of tennis and used his superior intellect to help change and improve the sport for all that followed.
He gave me my first wildcard into his pro event as a junior at 16 years old, in South Orange, NJ. More wildcards followed into some of his exhibitions. I never forgot his generosity towards me and always supported his events, regardless of the circumstances. As you well know, I was not the most pleasant fellow on the court, but Gene believed in my ability and always tried to help the Eastern sectional kids.
In my opinion, his contributions to the game have been crucial, more often than, not his views, comments and opinions have "ruffled more than a few feathers", that is because he always spoke his mind and tried to better the sport for all those that loved tennis as he did.
I will miss Gene Scott very much, especially his editor's column in Tennis Week which I have not missed in over 30 years.
Dear Gene, You are a man of great passion, courage and generosity. I will always treasure the wisdom you shared about the nobility of truth. It was an honor to work for and learn from you. God bless you.
|Peter D. Kendall - Tennis Week subscriber
Gene Scott's sometimes contrarian but always well-reasoned points of view expressed in his Vantage Point feature were a welcome departure from the mundane coverage of tennis generally found in the more mainstream publications. In each and every issue, Gene wrote to us with the understanding that we still cared about ideas, that we were willing to risk changing our views, and that we all wanted to remain active participants in making the great game of tennis better. For this and for the man that he was, the tennis community has lost a true champion.
With heartfelt condolences to Gene's family and the members of the Tennis Week staff.
|Tom Greevy Tuxedo Club Court Tennis Professional
The game of tennis and court tennis has lost a great force. His prescence will be missed. My sincere condolences to Gene's family.
|Tony Fox, Head Women's Tennis Coach Univ of Akron
Throughout the years, Tennis Week served as a valueable information piece for me. During that time, I was fortunate enough to have serveral letters published in the magazine. At a US Open, I was fortunate enough to meet Eugene Scott. At that time, I explained how the major forces in my tennis development had the last name Scott. We laughed at the last names being the same. Briefly, we spoke about the magazine, and other tennis small talk. I left the conversation feeling, I had spoken with and old friend. His contributions to tennis will long be remember by this writer
|Jeff Podesta, Fan, Friend andCompetitor
Sitting on a hillside, with my dad, overlooking the Princeton University tennis courts I watched Gene as he played the likes of Herb Fitzgibbon and Keith Jennings and wondered how easy and graceful he made the game look. The high-toss, the slice backhand,and that heavy forehand were all trademarks of his marvelously fluid game. Who knew then that he would "lead" on so many fronts and touch so many people through projects designed to promote the growth and understanding of tennis around the world. I worked with him during the "old days" at the Orange Lawn Tennis Club when whites were mandatory and the game was tuly the sport of Kings. Perhaps today he is hitting that blistering slice serve wide to the deuce court on God's carpet.Condolences to his family. He will be missed and remembered by all of us.
|Kit Spencer, Bahamas IC President
Along with all his many other tennis friends worldwide I would just like to say how much Gene will be missed here in The Bahamas. Gene was always a good friend to Bahamian tennis and helped in many ways from supporting our juniors, contributing to the building of our BLTA National Tennis Centre, helping run The Bahamas Open Professional event at The Ocean Club and most recently organising the IC North American Junior Challenge. Gene was a great person n the tennis community and will be sadly missed by many. Our condolences got out to his family who must miss him more than anyone.
Kit Spencer -former Bahamas LTA President
I loved working with Gene in my time at Donald Dell's ProServ. It was an honor. What he contributed to the Sport and all the people who are remebering him here, is impossible to measure. I am sad and will miss him.
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