Dr. Anne Firor Scott, for three decades a professor of history at Duke University and a nationally recognized scholar who advocated a different perspective of and appreciation for women’s history died at her Chapel Hill home on February 5, 2019 at the age of ninety-seven.
She was born on April 24, 1921, in Macon County, Georgia. At the age of nineteen she received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia and subsequently her master’s in political science from Northwestern. During the Roosevelt Administration she worked for a congressman and then for the League of Women Voters. Following her marriage in 1947 she secured a fellowship to Radcliffe from which she earned her doctorate on 1958- her dissertation being on Southern progressives in the Congress. From 1961-1991 she was a professor at Duke and in 1980 became the first woman to chair its history department. She influenced generations of future historians and scholars. Upon her retirement she was presented the University Medal for Distinguished Meritorious Services.
Dr. Scott was noted for her emphasis on the long-neglected contributions of women to history either singly or collectively. Her groundbreaking 1970 volume, “The Southern Lady: From Pedestal to Politics, 1830-1930” fostered additional research and publications on this heretofore neglected area of American and regional history. She served on President Johnson’s Citizens’ Advisory Council on the Status of Women in the 1960s and in 2013 President Obama presented Dr. Scott with a National Humanities Award- the citation of which noted her “groundbreaking research spanning ideology, race, and class.” Dr. Scott was predeceased by her husband Dr. Andrew Scott of the UNC faculty in 2005 and three children survive.
Dr. Scott, a member of the HSNC, will be remembered at the April 12th meeting at Campbell University.