John A. Scott · 1983
John A. (Jack) Scott served as President of the Gannett Foundation from 1976 to 1981, when he retired as President and was elected Chairman of the Board.
Born in Litchfield, Connecticut in 1916, Scott moved with his family to South Bend, Indiana in 1928. He attended public schools in South Bend and the University of Notre Dame, where he was graduated with honors in 1938, an English major.
After graduation he became a teacher, then a public school administrator until 1941 when he was ordered to active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps. During his six years of active duty he served three years in the Pacific during World War II. His combat decorations include the Silver Star Medal, the Bronze Star with valor clasp and the Purple Heart. He enlisted in the Reserve as a Private First Class at Notre Dame and retired in 1959 as a Brigadier General.
While on active duty during the Korean conflict, he ran in the primary election for Mayor of South Bend. Later he was elected in the general election and served from 1952-56 as the first Republican mayor of that Democratic city in 25 years.
In the intervening years, Scott became a newspaper executive, first with the South Bend Tribune, then with the Elkhart (Indiana) Truth. He then joined Federated Publications and became publisher of that company’s newspaper, first in Lafayette, then in Boise, Idaho, then in Olympia and Bellingham, Washington. When the Gannett Company purchased Federated, Scott was named publisher of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and President of Gannett Pacific. After four years in Hawaii, he became President of the Gannett Foundation, one of the nation’s twenty largest.
During his various careers, Scott took graduate work at Notre Dame, Purdue, Indiana University and American University. He has lectured on more than fifty campuses and, for ten years, was a special lecturer in Communications at Notre Dame. He has spoken in more than 100 cities in the U.S. and has written extensively for newspapers and magazines.
Scott has been an officer in various civic organizations including the United Way, Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau, Rotary, Boy Scouts and St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church, Masonic Orders in South Bend and the Aloha Shrine in Honolulu. He is a life member of the Purdue Agricultural Alumni Association, the Tippecanoe County Historical Society, the Fort Wayne Press Club and various veteran’s organizations.
Scott’s citations as a civilian include honorary doctorate degrees from a Baptist College (Franklin) and a Roman Catholic College (St. Martin’s). Long active in the Civil Rights movement, Scott was the first chairman of Indiana’s Civil Rights Advisory Committee and later served as a consultant to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
At his home in Cocoa Beach, Florida, Scott is a director of the Landmark Banks of Brevard and the United Way of Brevard. He and his wife, Patricia, have four children, two married daughters, a son in the Marine Corps and a son, 14, at home.