Monday, May 8

In Memorium: Otto Scott

Author, commentator, historian, and teacher, Otto Scott quietly went home to be with the Lord on May 5, 2006 in Issaquah, WA. Otto was preceded in death by his wife of 34 years, Anna Barney Scott, in August 1997 but he is survived by four daughters and a host of grandchildren.

He served in the US Merchant Marines during WWII, and had a successful career in advertising and as a journalist after the war ended. He then went on to pursue his lifelong dream of being a writer and was the author of ten books including The Exception: The story of Ashland Oil, James I: The Fool as King, The Creative Ordeal: The Story of Raytheon, Robespierre: The Voice of Virtue, The Secret Six: John Brown and the Abolitionists, The Professional: A Biography of J.B. Saunders, The Other End of the Lifeboat, The Great Christian Revolution, and Buried Treasure: The Story of Arch Mineral.

Otto made a living from his corporate biographies, yet achieved fame from his thorough knowledge of history and poetic use of language. He was also the author of Otto Scott’s Compass, a monthly journal of contemporary culture which ran for fifteen years, and was widely read by a number of well-known conservatives.

For me, Otto was a friend, mentor, and provocateur. He was brilliant. He was controversial. He was irascible. He was unflapable. I will miss his razor wit and his fierce passion. I will miss his wild stories from around the world. I will miss his keen insights and his wide-ranging knowledge.

His funeral will be held on Saturday, May 13, 2006 at 11:00 AM at the Gethsemane Cemetery--with arrangements managed by BONNEY-WATSON--in Federal Way, WA.


Unknown said...

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Mr. Scott was a delightful and brilliant man. His book on John Brown has forever reframed the way we have to look at Ralph Waldo Emerson and the Transcendentalists. Mr. Scott was converted after he was 50, and his lifetime experiences--both actual and through his extensive readings--all gave him a brilliant perspective on Christian truths. His health problems of recent years makes this news a topic of rejoicing rather than mourning.

oldfatslow said...

In 1997, I bought a used copy of Otto Scott's industrial biography of Ashland Oil. It was embossed with "From the library of Dr. and Mrs. Armand Hammer." I thought this was ironic and wrote Scott about it. He replied:

"[T]he news that Armand Hammer had a copy of my history of Ashland Oil reminds me that some years back the CEO of Ashland, Orin Atkins, was engaged in merger talks with Hammer's firm, Occidental Petroleum.

He recommended that if Hammer ever chose to have a history of himself or Occidental (indistinguishable from one another at the time) that I might be chosen. To seal the recommendation he sent Hammer the copy you now have in your hand (Attn: Small World Department).

At any rate, I received (in due course) a note from Hammer's secretary, saying in effect, "Thanks but no thanks," to my disappointment. I sincerely wanted to interview that monster, who (at the time) was cordially received in the White House from the time of Franklin Roosevelt onward, as well as at Buckingham Palace by Prince Charles, in the Kremlin, our State Dept, etcx. He _never_ received a critical article in our mainline media; as a friend of the USSR he was a hero to liberals everywhere. But I had some backgound information from Standard Oil that painted a different picture. All now, unfortunately, obsolete.

Hammer did, of course, select an author from the New York establishment, who wrote a shameless panegyric, which is now only of some slight interest as a sample of the stupid and treacherous media sellout of Ameria still, alas, underway."


julieannerickson said...

Otto Scott actually has four surviving daughters - Liz, Katie, Mary and Philippa.

gileskirk said...

Julie: You're right. Thanks. I've corrected the post.