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Scott, Gregory Kellam (1948- )

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Denver Public Library

Gregory Kellam Scott, the first African American to be appointed to the Colorado Supreme Court, was born on July 30, 1948 in San Francisco, California, to Robert and Althea Delores Scott. He attended Rutgers University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science in 1970 and a master’s in Education the following year. In 1977, he graduated from Indiana University School of Law cum laude with a law degree.

Scott moved to Denver and passed the bar there.  For two years he was a trial attorney in Denver with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). He also served as general counsel for both Blinder, Robinson & Co. and Commercial Energies, Inc.

From 1980 to 1992, Scott was an associate professor at the University of Denver, where he was the Business Planning Program’s chair. While there, he also consulted on cases involving corporate and securities laws, as well as government contracting.

Colorado Governor Roy Romer appointed Scott to the Colorado Supreme Court in 1992 and he was sworn in on January 15, 1993. While on the bench Scott was included in the decision of roughly one thousand cases. He was elected to a full term on the Colorado Supreme Court in November 1996 and was scheduled to serve until January 2007, but in March 2000 he resigned from the Court to became Vice President and General Counsel at Kaiser-Hill, LLC, a general contractor that handles nuclear decontamination, among other services. In 2002, he left that position to be the Senior Vice President of Law, Secretary and General Counsel of GenCorp Inc. until 2004. After that, he was a Consultant of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc., the successor of GenCorp Inc. From 2005 to 2008, he was the Indiana Civil Rights Commission’s Executive Director.

As of 1997, Scott has been a member of the National Board of Directors of the Constituency for Africa.  He co-chaired the National Summit on Africa that took place in Denver later that year and led the American delegation that traveled to Gabon, Africa, in 1998. In 2006, he served on the U.S. State Department’s Commission on the African Judiciary.

Scott was involved in a number of notable cases, both as an attorney and as a Justice, including Evans v. Romer in which discrimination based on sexual orientation was prohibited. He also heard cases involving the NAACP and the Urban League.

Scott has been acknowledged for his work through several awards. As well as receiving an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Denver, he is recognized in both Rutgers University Hall of Distinguished Alumni and the Blacks in Colorado Hall of Fame.

Scott married Carolyn Weatherly, an attorney, in April 1971. They have two children, Joshua and Elijah.

Sources:
“U. of Denver Law Prof Gregory K. Scott Named To Colorado High Court,” Jet (Oct. 5 1992); “Gregory Kellam Scott,” https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId=3280827&privcapId=28117669; “Gregory Kellam Scott,” https://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~rualumni/awards/hda.php?show=83; “Gregory Kellam Scott Resigns from the Supreme Court,” Colorado Judicial Branch News, March 6, 2000, https://www.courts.state.co.us/Media/Press_Docs/scottretire1.pdf.

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University of Washington, Seattle

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