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Dr. William Eugene Scott

Tuesday, 22 February, 2005
Dr. Scott lights his cigar.

Dr. Scott lights his cigar.

Back when television was showing us many pictures of Los Angeles, and it was a distinctive city, one would occasionally see a large neon sign reading “Jesus Saves”. Traveling into Downtown Los Angeles from the East, it was difficult to miss. The building attached to the bottom of this sign was Los Angeles University Cathedral, the home and headquarters of Dr. Gene Scott. Dr Gene Scott, passed away Monday night.

Dr Scott was known for his outrageous teachings which tended to follow the text of the New Testament. He remains a pariah among the descendants of Oral Roberts and Billy Graham, after inheriting the infrastructure of Robert’s Faith Network, establishing University Network, and growing it into a network of affiliated stations which broadcast his distinctive and well-rounded studio-based program five nights every week. This program moved to shortwave radio, on their own owned-and-operated stations which eventually broadcast the beautiful angry ranting of the last devout “televangelist” twenty-four hours. Curiously, the Federal Communications Commission targeted Dr Scott in the late 1980s, eventually establishing that he and his followers are categorically forbidden broadcast licenses.

Unlike many of his contemporaries, Dr. Scott is not a “Doctor of Divinity”, or the recipient of an honorary degree. He earned a doctorate in Education from Stanford in 1957. Not unlike the object of our loss the day before, Dr Gene Scott was also the basis for a character in a comic strip, Zippy featured occasional visits from the “Rebel Rev”, based on Dr. Scott.

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