Hugh Scott

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The Honorable
Hugh Scott
United States Senator
from Pennsylvania
In office
January 3, 1959 – January 3, 1977
Preceded by Edward Martin
Succeeded by John Heinz
Senate Minority Leader
In office
September 6, 1969 – January 3, 1977
Deputy Robert Griffin[a]
Preceded by Everett Dirksen
Succeeded by Howard Baker
Senate Minority Whip
In office
January 3, 1969 – September 6, 1969
Leader Everett Dirksen
Preceded by Thomas Kuchel
Succeeded by Robert Griffin
36th Chairman of the Republican National Committee
In office
June 27, 1948 – August 5, 1949
Preceded by B. Carroll Reece
Succeeded by Guy Gabrielson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 7th district
In office
January 3, 1941 – January 3, 1945
Preceded by George P. Darrow
Succeeded by James Wolfenden
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 6th district
In office
January 3, 1947 – January 3, 1959
Preceded by Herbert J. McGlinchey
Succeeded by Herman Toll
Personal details
Born Hugh Doggett Scott, Jr.
(1900-11-11)November 11, 1900
Fredericksburg, Virginia, USA
Died Script error: The function "death_date_and_age" does not exist.
Falls Church, Virginia
Resting place Arlington National Cemetery
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Marian Huntington Chase (married 1924-1987, her death)
Children One daughter, Marian
Residence Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Alma mater Randolph–Macon College
University of Virginia School of Law
a.^ As Republican Whip.

Hugh Doggett Scott, Jr. (November 11, 1900 – July 21, 1994), was an American lawyer and politician. A member of the Republican Party, he represented Pennsylvania in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1941 to 1945, and from 1947 to 1959. He also represented the state in the U.S. Senate from 1959 to 1977. As a Senator, he served as Senate Minority Leader from 1969 to 1977. He was also chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1948 to 1949.

Early life and education

The son of Hugh Doggett and Jane Lee (née Lewis) Scott,[1] Hugh Doggett Scott, Jr. was born on an estate in Fredericksburg, Virginia, that was once owned by George Washington.[2] His grandfather served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War under General John Hunt Morgan, and his great-grandmother was the niece of President Zachary Taylor.[3] After attending public schools in Fredericksburg, he studied at Randolph–Macon College in Ashland, Virginia, from where he graduated in 1919.[4] He enrolled in the Student Reserve Officers Training Corps and the Students' Army Training Corps during World War I.[4]

In 1922, Scott earned his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law at Charlottesville, where he was a member of the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society and the Alpha Chi Rho fraternity.[1] His interest in politics was established after frequently attending committee hearings in the Virginia House of Delegates.[5]

Early political career

Scott was admitted to the bar in 1922 and then moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he joined his uncle's law firm.[3] Two years later, he married Marian Huntington Chase, to whom he remained married until her death in 1987; the couple had one daughter, Marian.[2] Scott, who had become a regular worker for the Republican Party, was appointed assistant district attorney of Philadelphia in 1926.[3] He served in that position until 1941, and claimed to have prosecuted more than 20,000 cases during his tenure.[5] From 1938 to 1940, he served as a member of the Governor's Commission on Reform of the Magistrates System.[4]

Congressional career


In 1940, after longtime Republican incumbent George Darrow decided to retire, Scott was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania's 7th congressional district.[4] At the time, the district was based in Northwest Philadelphia.[5] He defeated Democratic candidate Gilbert Cassidy by a margin of 3,362 votes.[6] In 1942, he was re-elected to a second term after defeating Democrat Thomas Minehart, a former Philadelphia City Councilman and future State Treasurer, receiving nearly 56% of the vote.[7]

In 1943, he became a member of the Virginia Society of the Cincinnati.

In 1944, Scott was narrowly defeated for re-election by Democrat Herb McGlinchey, losing by 2,329 votes.[8] He served in the U.S. Navy during the remainder of World War II, reaching the rank of commander.[4] In 1946, following his military service, Scott successfully ran to reclaim his House seat; during the campaign, he spoke out against President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "betrayal at Yalta" and communists in Washington, D.C.[5] He handily defeated McGlinchey by a margin of more than 23,000 votes.[9] He was subsequently re-elected to five more terms.

During his tenure in the House, Scott established himself as a strong internationalist after voting in favor of the Lend-Lease Act of 1941, foreign aid to Greece and Turkey, and the Marshall Plan.[3] He also earned a reputation as a moderate to liberal Republican, supporting public housing, rent control, and the abolition of the poll tax and other civil rights legislation.[3] From 1948 to 1949,[10] he served as chairman of the Republican National Committee, a position he received after helping New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey obtain the Republican nomination in the 1948 presidential election.[2] Facing staunch opposition from Ohio Senator Bob Taft, Scott barely survived a no-confidence ballot but nevertheless resigned as RNC chairman.[5] He later served as campaign chairman for Dwight D. Eisenhower during the 1952 presidential election.[5]


In 1958, after fellow Republican Edward Martin declined to run for re-election, Scott was elected to the U.S. Senate.[4] He narrowly defeated his Democratic opponent, Governor George Leader, by a margin of 51 to 48 percent.[11] Scott continued his progressive voting record in the Senate, opposing President Eisenhower's veto of a housing bill in 1959 and a redevelopment bill in 1960.[12] He voted to end segregationist Democratic senators' filibuster of the Civil Rights Act of 1960, and later sponsored 12 bills to implement the recommendations of the Civil Rights Commission.[12] A memorable quote from Hugh Scott came during the U-2 Incident in 1960, when Senator Scott said that "We have violated the eleventh Commandment — Thou Shall Not Get Caught."[13]

In 1962, Scott threatened to run for Governor of Pennsylvania if the Republican Party did not nominate moderate Congressman Bill Scranton over the more conservative Judge Robert Woodside, a former State Attorney General.[12] He even supported Scranton as a more liberal alternative to conservative Senator Barry Goldwater for the Republican nomination in the 1964 presidential election.[3] Scott also faced re-election in 1964; he overcame the national landslide for Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson to defeat the state Secretary of Internal Affairs, Democrat Genevieve Blatt, by approximately 70,000 votes.[5] He voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Civil Rights Act of 1968.[12] He supported New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller for the Republican nomination in the 1968 presidential election.[3]

Scott was reelected again in 1970, defeating Democratic State Senator William Sesler by 51 to 45 percent margin, and served until January 3, 1977. He was elected Senate Minority Whip in January 1969.[4] Following the death of Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen in September of that year, Scott was narrowly elected Senate Minority Leader over Tennessee Senator Howard Baker (Dirksen's son-in-law), serving until 1977.[14]

In 1967 Scott held a Fellowship at Balliol College, Oxford, where he contributed regularly to Alan Montefiore's politics seminar for postgraduates. Once, when he and Montefiore started talking at the same time, Scott carried on speaking with the amiable excuse : 'You can remember what you want to say longer than I can'.[15]

He was Chairman of the Select Committee on Secret and Confidential Documents (92nd Congress). He wielded tremendous influence.[citation needed] He was one of the congressional leaders to meet Richard Nixon to tell him to resign following Watergate.

Scott was displeased with the Nixon Administration, believing that it was aloof, unapproachable, and contemptuous of him.[16] Scott believed that he would be given a major role in setting Administration policy, and he was disappointed when he did not receive it.[16] Actively assisting in the behind-the-scenes transition from the Nixon Administration to the Ford Administration in the months leading up to the resignation of President Nixon, Scott sought assurance from Ford that Scott would be able to address Ford as "Jerry" even after Ford became President.[16]

In 1976, the Senate undertook an ethics inquiry into accusations that he had received payment from lobbyists for the Gulf Oil Corporation. He acknowledged having received $45,000, but claimed these were legal campaign contributions.[17]

He did not run for reelection in 1976 and was succeeded by Republican John Heinz. The same year, he chaired the Pennsylvania delegation to the Republican National Convention.

Scott was a resident of Washington, D.C., and later, Falls Church, Virginia, until his death there on July 21, 1994. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.


  1. 1.0 1.1 The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography. New York: James T. White & Company. 1960.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Binder, David (1994-07-23). "Senator Hugh Scott, 93, Dies; Former Leader of Republicans". The New York Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Beers, Paul B. (1980). Pennsylvania Politics Today and Yesterday: The Tolerable Accommodation. Pennsylvania State University Press.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 "SCOTT, Hugh Doggett, Jr., (1900 - 1994)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Coakley, Michael B. (1994-07-23). "Hugh Scott, A Giant In Pa. And Congress, Dies At 93". Philadelphia Inquirer.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Statistics of the Presidential and Congressional Election of November 5, 1940" (PDF). Clerk of the United States House of Representatives.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Statistics of the Congressional Election of 1942" (PDF). Clerk of the United States House of Representatives.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Statistics of the Presidential and Congressional Election of November 7, 1944" (PDF). Clerk of the United States House of Representatives.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1946" (PDF). Clerk of the United States House of Representatives.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Dewey Forces Lose Battle for Republican Leadership". The Los Angeles Times. August 5, 1949. Retrieved January 19, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 1958" (PDF). Clerk of the United States House of Representatives.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Siracusa, Joseph M. (2004). The Kennedy Years. New York: Facts On File, Inc.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Evan Thomas, The Very Best Men, The Daring Early Years of the CIA., pg 219
  14. "Hugh Scott: A Featured Biography". United States Senate.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Geoffrey Thomas, School of Philosophy, Birkbeck College, University of London, personal recollection
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Woodward and Bernstein, The Final Days at 186 (New York: Avon Books 1976).
  17. Binder, David (23 July 1994). "Senator Hugh Scott, 93, Dies; Former Leader of Republicans". New York Times. Retrieved 8 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Kotlowski, Dean J. "Unhappily Yoked? Hugh Scott and Richard Nixon." Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 2001 125(3): 233-266. ISSN 0031-4587 online
    • Abstract: While their different public personas, political interests, and institutional duties led to occasional disagreement, President Richard Nixon and Senate Minority Leader Scott were not always unhappily tethered as evidenced by their stances on domestic and foreign issues throughout Nixon's presidency, during 1968–74. While he jousted with Nixon over racial policies and his Supreme Court nominations, including his choice of Judge Clement F. Haynsworth, Jr., of South Carolina, Scott supported much of Nixon's domestic agenda, applauded the president's conduct of foreign affairs, backed his Vietnam policy, praised his invasion of Cambodia, publicly proclaimed Nixon's innocence during the Watergate scandal, and endorsed President Gerald Ford's pardon of his predecessor. The Nixon-Scott relationship is notable because it confirms scholars' assumptions about Nixon's hot-and-cold association with Congress and indicates that sparring between moderate Republicans like Nixon and Scott was on its way out.

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
George Darrow
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 7th congressional district

Succeeded by
James Wolfenden
Preceded by
Herbert McGlinchey
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 6th congressional district

Succeeded by
Herman Toll
United States Senate
Preceded by
Edward Martin
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Pennsylvania
Served alongside: Joe Clark, Richard Schweiker
Succeeded by
John Heinz
Preceded by
Everett Dirksen
United States Senate Minority Leader
Succeeded by
Howard Baker
Preceded by
Thomas Kuchel
United States Senate Minority Whip
Succeeded by
Robert Griffin
Party political offices
Preceded by
Everett Dirksen
United States Senate Republican Leader
Succeeded by
Howard Baker
Preceded by
Thomas Kuchel
United States Senate Republican Whip
Succeeded by
Robert Griffin
Preceded by
B. Carroll Reece
Chairman of the Republican National Committee
Succeeded by
Guy Gabrielson
Preceded by
Edward Martin
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania
(Class 1)

1958, 1964, 1970
Succeeded by
John Heinz