Biographical Information:

Dates: 1912 -1976Dates in Ridgefield: 1948 -1976
nonfiction, world politics, economics, journalism
journalist, news correspondent, VP of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty

When journalist John Scott worked with his hands, it was not just to type his eight books, scores of white papers, and countless Time Magazine articles. The son of the liberal social reformer, Scott Nearing, Mr. Scott dropped his father’s name after a disagreement, left college after two years, and, intrigued by Communism, headed for Russia in 1932 where he worked in a Urals factory as a welder for several years. In Stalin’s 1937 purge, he lost his job, but remained in Russia as a French news correspondent and Moscow correspondent for London’s News Chronicle. While in Russia, he met and married Mariya Kikareva. Kicked out in 1940, he began covering World War II for Time. He and his wife came to the United States in 1942. He worked in the Office of Strategic Services (forerunner to the CIA); he was alleged to be working for Soviet intelligence. When he came to Ridgefield in 1948, he built his stone-and-wood Peaceable Ridge home with his own hands. During his journalistic career, he wrote eight books on world politics, economics, war, and hunger, did countless Time special reports that were widely circulated in government and industry, and delivered more than 4,800 speeches–including some in Ridgefield–all while also writing for Time. After his retirement, he became vice president of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. He still had time for his home town, belonging to the Democratic Club early on. Mr. Scott later became a Republican. “He wanted to build the structure of a better world,” said the Rev. Clayton R. Lund of the First Congregational Church at Scott’s funeral in 1976. “Such optimism never left him because he had such access to human weakness and nobility; he was obsessed with the triumph of the human spirit.”
Titles:Duel for Europe, 1942Behind the Urals: An American Worker in Russia’s City of Steel, 1942
--Sources: Notable Ridgefielders–Jack Sanders; Wikipedia;