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.
Brian B.
Thanks for all your great writing.

Fred & Pat Stolle, Owen & Arlene Davidson, Jefrey Vesotsky (Grand Slam Sports) and all the Legends of Grand Slam Sports.
Dear Gene,
What a terrible shock!!! You were a breath of fresh air in tennis politics, a good friend, a very good player, a business partner, and most of all a good person. Our sympathies go out to Polly and your family. You will be missed – It is still hard to believe.

Kim Kodl, former managing editor, Tennis Week
Dear Gene,

I still find it hard to digest the news of your passing. I am eternally grateful for the privilege of working at Tennis Week and the countless ways in which you've enriched my life. It's hard to imagine that Vantage Point will be a blank slate.

My thoughts, prayers and love go to Polly, Lucy and Sam.

Tim Mayotte
I have spend much of the last ten years or so on the fringes of tennis after it was at the center for as long as I can remember. During most of those years Gene and his staff were my connection to the sport I had put aside. When the magazine would come I would read it all. Every last word. He made tennis matter to me.
Our sport has lost someone that cannot be replaced. A friend of mine called me and when I heard the news I lost a breath.
I wish I got to know him better, but, judging by how much the tennis community misses him I can barely imagine how deeply his family must be greiving.

Karen and Marshall Happer
Dear Gene:

I have been stunned for days by your unexpected departure. I didn’t even know you were ill and I suspect you didn’t either, at least not the seriousness of it. Your death has been tough for me and I cannot imagine how tough and sad it has been for Polly, Lucy, Sam and Timothy. My guess is that you and mother, Lucy, are looking down at all of us and at your web site with smiles on your faces and probably with a touch of bewilderment as we all say how we felt about you. Because of your natural competitive nature, it probably never occurred to you that you had so many friends. I know you are loving the absolutely exclusive scoop that you and Tennis Week are experiencing.

Everything that is being said about your place and your importance to Tennis is true and certainly you helped me many, many times over 30 years. Every time I needed help, you were there. Judging from the tributes on your web site, you were there for almost everyone.

I always considered you to be one of the most interesting people I have ever known. At different times, some times during the same encounter, you were:

Gene Scott, intellectual, of the “old school” establishment, with a “The Championships” view of the world; or
Gene Scott of the public parks with a public park perspective; or
Gene Scott, the unbelievably competitive player; or
Gene Scott, the professional player agent; or
Gene Scott, the ambassador of the Big Apple to welcome people like me to New York in 1981, with help to find apartments, Men’s Tennis Council offices, etc.; or
Gene Scott, the investigative reporter and confidant to many of the leaders of the Game (bet they are wondering where you kept all that confidential information) ( I remember in the early days before you had a direct line to many of the leaders of the game, I asked you how you could possibly have learned and published the salary of a newly hired tennis executive, since I was sure that neither he nor his boss gave you that information; I never forgot your eventual answer, which was: “I got it from the lady who typed the employment contract”); or
Gene Scott, the editorialist, preaching for the good of the Game from your pulpit; or
Gene Scott, the promoter of the tennis industry; or
Gene Scott, the tournament director where “everything is for sale” (I seem to remember that at Orange one year you threw out the press and sold their seats); or
Gene Scott, tournament director of the Nabisco Masters, filling 20,000 seats; or
Gene Scott, proposed tournament director for Cuba (someone will finish that one for you); or
Gene Scott, the television commentator, (forget about King vs. Riggs, how about pro-bono for me at a $25K tournament in Raleigh in 1978); or
Gene Scott, the promoter of journalistic excellence for tennis writers, annually; or
Gene Scott, the promoter of collegiate tennis, annually; or
Gene Scott, the promoter of Court tennis; or
Gene Scott, the social player (playing “down” to play with people like me); or
Gene Scott, the dancer (We were bachelors for quite a few years before marrying up); or
Gene Scott, the promoter of every trendy restaurant in New York (many of which probably still have a stash of Nabisco Masters “vintage” wine); or
Gene Scott, friend; or
Gene Scott, the matchmaker (you instigated my first date with Karen); or
Gene Scott, wedding planner (for our wedding) at your River Club; or
Gene Scott, Karen’s mixed doubles partner; or
Gene Scott, Polly’s adoring husband and mate; or
Gene Scott, the proud and doting father of Lucy and Sam (in our last telephone conversation, you told me how you and Polly had happily rearranged everything around Lucy and Sam’s complex schedules); and
Many others too numerous to mention.

However, the most important Gene Scott to me was Gene Scott, my friend; your friendship and later yours and Polly’s friendship have been very important to me and to Karen. We are proud to have been friends with you both and we will always cherish our memories and our times together.

To Polly, Lucy, Sam and Timothy: Karen and I extend our deepest sympathy. We love you and you will remain in our thoughts and prayers as Gene will remain in our memories, always. With Gene’s approval (and with Polly’s and Karen’s approval), I hope to be able to continue to have Polly as my very tenacious mixed doubles partner.

Your friends,

Karen and Marshall Happer

Kevin F.X. O'Rourke
My father is 86 and alive. During his life, he has been an avid tennis player, and one of the great stories he tells is about a fellow named Gene Scott. Apparently, my dad aced the great Gene Scott some 30 years ago at a tournament in Antigua. Back in the day, my father was a heck of an athlete, having played for the N Y Football Giants in the 40's before going off to war. But, however great my dad's athletic pedigree was, to this day he still talks of the elegant, world class tennis player he aced. My dad returned to Antigua to play in the Pro-Am event for many years, mainly because of the impression Gene made on him.
And so it was about ten years ago that I was paired up to play against Gene Scott, me representing New Rochelle Tennis Club and Gene representing Manursing Island. It was big for me. A hugh crowd of about 100, which included my mother's secret love, Frank Gifford and my secret love Kathie Lee Gifford,
were on hand. My match was very close. It was doubles. Gene was playing with the very scary, very talented Steve Baird. I was playing with the very scary, very talented Ronnie Lischner. I remember Gene's backhand slice return of serve from the ad side was a thing of beauty. The match wore on into the third set. Let it be known, my adversaries knew I was the weaker player on our team and kept a steady stream of balls coming over, under and through me. In the end, Ronnie and I won the match 7-5 in the third, and with much fanfare, New Rochelle came away with a 4-3 victory.
After shaking hands at the net, my partner and I were mobbed by our teammates and the fans, including the great Frank Gifford. It was then that I blew off his invitation to meet his wife, and my secret love, Kathie Lee, to hang with Gene Scott. Over a Heineken, on the back deck at his club I had my moment with the icon. I reminisced with him while recalling my father's great memories of their time together in Antigua.
It was great to be in his company. He was such a star to me, gracious and elegant even in defeat. He gave me the most thrilling day of Tennis I have ever had. I will be back to Manursing this summer to play again, but it won't be the same. I think, I'm going to have a Heineken on the back deck and relive the day.

James J Lynn Assistant Tennis Professional
I have never met Gene, But I always knew if a had a real problem in the tennis world Mr. Scott would stck up for the little guy. God Bless Him.

Tim Joyce, Tennis Week writer
Growing up in the 1970's and 80's I was a passionate tennis fan and avid reader of Scott's Tennis Week as well as his other books. So it was a source of great pride when I started writing for the magazine several years ago.
I'm sure Tennis Week will continue with its topical and prescient content, serving as the benchmark of Scott's legacy.

Susan Hall, contributor to Tennis Week and author
I am so sorry that Gene Scott was taken from us so early. I have been fortunate to write for his "Tennis Week" over the past three years. Having tried various niches in the sport of tennis where my love for the game was not exactly appreciated, what a pleasure it was to finally find a home in Gene Scott's passion for the game.

Lee Lobenhofer
I knew Gene for about six years in a context other than tennis. Actually, I had no idea of his importance to the tennis world but knew him as an amazing father to Sam and Lucy. He and I performed in benefits for our daughter's school and he was always extremely humble and good natured, never speaking of his incredible contributions to the tennis world. Singing seemed to be a hidden joy of his since we were never very good but we sure had fun and he came back every time we needed him. I was struck by his intellegence and class while still being very approachable, down to earth and willing to laugh at himself. I just sang with him a couple of weeks ago and can't believe that we will never share a microphone again. It just won't be the same without him. Our love and thoughts are with his family and friends but know that we are all better for knowing him.
Lee Lobenhofer

Kelley Busby
The outpouring here is truly incredible, but certainly not unexpected. My heartfelt condolences to Polly, Sam and Lucy, and to brother Tim. I had the pleasure and honor to play with Gene- easily the best player I have ever played sets with in my life. While in Madison and occasionally in NY, he effortlessly ran me around (I am 30 years younger), hitting various lines at will, it seemed. This was after the 2 hip replacements! He was always so gracious on the court, no matter the level of tennis. I'll never forget the calls or notes from my partner Jonathan Bush saying, "Let's play again soon. We have to take the Scotts this time." I'm not sure if we ever did, but we certainly had a great time scrambling around, enjoying the game that he loved and contributed to so much. I only began to know from my work on a King- Riggs retrospective and of course from reading Tennis Week, Gene's vast impact on the game. There is no doubt this man should be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Honey and Bob Starr
the untimely death of Gene Scott is a great loss to his family. the world of tennis. not ever meeting him, we saw him many times at wimbledon. knowing his accomplishments are most outstanding for a true gentlemen. We read his columns religiously. our sincere condolenences to his family and friend.

J Barrie Farrington CBE
I will miss my brother Gene so very much. No, there is no biological connection but in spirit, soul and mind we were one.
For more than 30 years we shared a special bond with the game of tennis being the glue that made the bond indissoluble.
For many Bahamians he will be long remembered for his role in producing the Bahamas Internationa Open, an intimate boutique event, at the Ocean Club , Paradise event that was staged annually for more than 25 years.
he made it possible for my countrymen to rub shoulders with players like Harold Solomon, Manolo Santana, Fred Stolle, Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, Ken Rosewall, Cliff Ritchey, Peter Fleming. And then there were the girls...Zina Garrison, Anne White, Carlin Bassett, Virginia Ruiczi.
Gene unhestitatingly helped young Bahamian players along the way and made a significant contribution to the development of out National Tennis Centre.
the Bahamas held a special place in Gene's heart.
no where in the annals of tennis history will you discover the name of a person who possessed more passion for the game of tennis than Eugene lytton Scott.
I grieve for Gene. There will be an emptiness for a long time to come but I will forever cherish the memories of our good times together.
I love you Eugene Lytton.

Clint O'Neill Tennis Week Booth Employee

Eugene Scott was a Very Special Man, I want to thank him for giving me the Opportunity to Work for him at Numerous Tournaments on the WTA and ATP Tours.
Gene had a Passion for Tennis that I will never Forget, My thoughts are with the Whole Scott Family, and Tennis Week Staff.
CANADA will Miss you dearly GENE!!!!!!!!!

Bob Raedisch, former Antigua Tennis Week Director and Curtain Bluff Tennis Professional
In 1974 we were attempting to host our first Antigua Tennis Week and were lucky enough to get Gene Scott involved. He was just getting Tennis Week "newspaper" going and not only promoted our event in the publication but brought down a few friends such as Vitas Gerulitas (and Vitas' sister Ruta), Gene Mayer, Fred McNair, prominent caricaturist David Levine and photographer Melchior DiGiacomo. Gene reached the finals that year losing a close match to Vitas. Over 30 years later the event continues and Genes name is still on the Curtain Bluff tennis wall.

Gene was the Renaissance man of tennis from publishing to television, world class tennis player to court tennis champion, agent to tournament director, he did it all.

Gene, thanks for the help so long ago. We will miss you.

Meghan McMahon
As a lifelong player and college coach, and an alumna of Yale, I of course knew of Gene's extraordinary contribution to tennis at all levels. It wasn't until Gene and Polly took on his mom's old farmhouse in my hometown of Madison, Connecticut, that I was able to get a glimpse of him outside of the game. In the years he came up to Madison from the city, I came to know Gene as a devoted husband and father, and I was honored to call him a friend. I rejoiced when he, Polly, Sam and Lucy came to my house on a wintry Sunday afternoon. Gene strapped on his skates in thirty seconds flat, flipped on his Indiana Jones hat at a rakish angle, and leapt out onto my frozen lake, gliding gracefully, effortlessly back and forth for hours (Polly, the children and I wisely opted for hot cocoa and a fireside seat). I saw him swim with Sam and Lucy, in the pool he and Polly so painstakingly built for their children. I listened, rapt, as he told of conversations with Rod Laver, and George Plimpton, and Bjorn Borg and Billie Jean. I felt so appreciative when he called me during a particularly bleak period in my life to say that he had struggled similarly, and went on to meet someone who was his whole world. I sat with Gene and Polly, and scores of their friends, in that bright, beautiful home one November night and listened to a string quartet play some of Gene and Polly's favorite classical pieces. I watched in awe the bond between Polly and Gene, that only seemed to grow stronger as the years passed. And I marveled at the exuberance and playfulness Gene showed toward his deeply beloved Sam and Lucy.

I am thinking of Polly each day, and of Sam and Lucy. They were Gene's "whole world."

Tina Lyons - just a fan and admirer
As a lifelong tennis fan and New England native, when I met Mr. Scott at some event in Newport (Davis Cup 1992, perhaps) I was struck by how fabulously "preppy" the man was - great wit, nothing stuffy about him, and a natural elegance and ease with strangers, like myself, who happened to read his Tennis Week religiously. I think I even flirted with him - it couldn't be helped! The man was simply so damn charming. What a sad loss for his family and indeed the entire the tennis community, as I always thought of Gene Scott as being one of the best things about the tennis world. Sympathies to all of you who were lucky enough to have actually known the man.

Paul Cranis
I am apologetic for posting a third tribute to my friend Gene. It just isn't fair that I can't pick up the phone and ask for his advice.

We first met in 1956 when I was staying at the home of and Army buddy in St.James, LI and was a boyhood friend of Gene's. Mack Bacon arranged for us to play on the public courts where he played. He was just turning 18 and I, 20. For almost 50 years I knew this friend and not being able to talk to him, is hard to accept.

During the 1960's and 70's we saw each other, almost every day. Or at the very least, we spoke on the telephone. I believe I was the first employee of Sports Investors. My job was to make sure that the carpet tennis court, that was used for the many exhibitions that Gene arranged, was in place and that all arrangements were made, prior to the day of an event. Gene would arrange for the players to appear and he would MC and play in the event. It was a great fun time. Equally fun, was when he was President of the Eastern Tennis Assoc. and I was on the Board at the same time. He was always up beat and made everyone feel they were making a significant contribution. For the most part, all of our meetings were at his law offices. What was memerable, was the food he always had on hand.

In the 1980's and through the 1990's we didn't see much of each other. We always caught up at a Senior event or Cup match. We corresponded mostly by telephone. I always called when I had a problem and he was quick to give me some good advice.

Next year he would have been competing in the 70's and over. I was thinking I might yet get another chance to compete against him. (#24)

Gene was always able to give me advice that I could take away for improving any problem I had. I will surely miss his voice.

cesar jansen
Gene was the glue who kept us together.

Paul Cranis
PS With all your accomplishments, The greatest for me, was when you stood up for me as my best man. Thanks "ELS"

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