Joseph Hugh Scott

September 2, 1952September 12, 2022
JOSEPH HUGH SCOTT (aka Joseph Hugh Sprott, III) Born September 2, 1952, Joseph Hugh Scott passed away on September 12, 2022, at his home in Sutton Place, New York City, where he resided with his devoted domestic partner of 22 years, Marianne Mason, a non-profit leader, surviving along with his sister, Judith Cene Narr, retired, of Oklahoma City. An autopsy performed by the New York City Medical Examiner determined cause of death to be Atherosclerotic and Hypertensive Cardiovascular Disease. A proud US Army Ranger veteran, he served with the First Air Cavalry Airborne Special Operations Command in 1972 in Vietnam, discharged honorably with the rank of Major. He then served in the Army reserves, released in 1978. After initial training for the elite Ranger Army corps, he was named most distinguished trainee. For this honor he was treated to a private lunch with the renowned General Norman Schwarzkopf in the United States Military Academy Dining Hall at West Point. He was a born hero, of Prussian ancestry. Bravely serving his country as a US Army Ranger was his most prized accomplishment. After serving active duty, Joseph Scott obtained a BA degree in journalism at Baylor University and continued to excel at every endeavor in his career as a distinguished American political commentator, journalist, host, documentary producer, winning multiple Emmy and other network journalism awards. He also was accepted to and attended the Harvard Kennedy School due to his keen grasp and interest in politics, but left after one year to accept an assignment in a different city. During his last assignment with ABC news, in addition to hosting the Weekend News, which had the highest ratings of the week, he served as the New Jersey bureau chief, and collaborated closely with many prominent New Jersey public servants, among them US Senator Bill Bradley and US Senator Frank Lautenberg and New Jersey Governors Kane and Florio. He also appeared frequently on Nightline when Ted Koppel was host in the 1980s. He began his television career in the mid-seventies as a TV news anchor, producer and writer for KBTV (now KUSA) in Denver, Colorado. He then worked at WNAC-TV (now WNEV-CBS) in Boston as TV news anchor and associate producer, then moved to Pittsburgh as a TV news anchor, reporter, mini-documentary producer, and radio commentator at KDKA-TV (CBS). His next assignment was in Sacramento, CA at KXTV-TV (CBS) as a TV news anchor and chief political reporter. He moved to WCAU-TV (CBS) in Philadelphia where he worked as a TV news anchor, host of the public affairs program Newsmakers, chief political correspondent and several other duties. In the mid-80s he worked as a Media Consultant for the prestigious Robert Gray and Company in Washington, DC, as a speech writer, producer and writer, documentary maker and assisted in government relations and fundraising. He handled corporate media crisis intervention, US public relations positioning of foreign countries, trade unions and corporations. He co-founded the media division to prepare for many top corporate executives and heads of state of foreign countries, such as Brian Mulroney, Prime Minister of Canada and the Governor of Puerto Rico. He also trained celebrities such as John Denver for tours and professional image. In the late 80s he was a well-known TV news anchor, associate producer, special assignments producer and had his own award-winning show at KTTV-TV (Fox) in Los Angeles. His final major work in television network anchoring, political reporter, producing, and writing was for seven years at ABC television in New York City where he was a news anchor, NJ bureau chief, political correspondent, and also managed Congressional relations. He was network liaison for community affairs and assisted ABC executive management to lobby in Washington. In 1995, he retired from his network journalism to become a novelist and wrote White Stone Days, the Clairvoyant Café, and One Who is Listening where he coined such unique concepts as “the Max becomes the Min” (the maximum that you will do for anyone becomes the minimum that is required), and “the Law of the Perverse Nature of Inanimate Objects.” He also penned numerous magazine pieces, essays and articles on topics of the day and observations on the many cities where he lived, including New Orleans and his favorite New York City. During this period, he collaborated with several Hollywood and French screenwriters to doctor film scripts. From 2000 until his death in 2022, he served as the Communications Director, Management Consultant, and Current Affairs Advisor for the Cordell Hull Foundation for International Education in New York City He also served as historian and archivist for papers and memoirs of Nobel Peace Laureate Cordell Hull, producing annotations and writing treatments for a full-length documentary film on the noble efforts of this renowned statemen who was credited as “Father of the United Nations.” His broad understanding of government and politics served the Cordell Hull Foundation well as he advised his partner, Marianne Mason, on a broad range of policies and politics over more than two decades. He had a voracious range and thirst for knowledge. She depended heavily on his judgment. He insisted upon the Foundation's move to Rockefeller Center, at Fifth Avenue and 50th Street, one of his strategic pieces of advice, enhancing the solid reputation of the organization. He had exquisite, unerring taste, in all matters. He will be sorely missed as a sounding board and consistent highly analytical, wizened perspective. Joseph Scott was a gifted visionary, known among journalism colleagues as “Father Scott.” He took time to mentor and develop and train young news journalists on the rise. He made it a point to befriend wounded veterans whenever and wherever he met them. Network (ABC and CBS) crew members, writers and interns clamored to cover election nights on his team. He had the combination of a photographic mind, absorbing the history of every candidate, coupled with a veteran journalist’s instinct, enabling him to predict the winning candidate for every election. His uncanny sense of the inevitable was bolstered by a wide scope of reading since childhood and an insatiable curiosity about people, the world, and events. Foremost in his mind was to maintain the highest standards of journalistic integrity to dig for truth, root out impersonators and posteurs to share with the public the essence and truth of every story and report. He won multiple awards and Emmys for producing documentaries on topics such as the pharmaceutical industry and helped raised the standards for non-profit scrutiny through his reporting on the United Way and other New York City organizations. Joseph Scott is predeceased by his beloved parents Jack Sprott, Jr. and JoNan Stanton of Temple, Texas, and his dear aunt, Judith Jean Stanton of Oklahoma City. Written by Marianne Mason, September, 2022

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