Robert Walter Scott

61st Governor of the State of North Carolina - 1969 to 1973

Date Born: June 13, 1929

Date Died: January 23, 2009

Place Born: Haw River, NC

Place Buried: Hawfields Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Mebane, NC

Residence: Haw River, NC

Occupation: Dairy Farmer


Robert Walter Scott was born on June 13, 1929 in Haw River, NC, the son of William Kerr Scott and Mary Elizabeth (White) Scott. He attended Duke University and graduated from North Carolina State College in 1952. Upon graduation, he returned home to manage his father’s dairy farm at Haw River.

On September 1, 1951, Robert Walter Scott married Jessie Rae Osborne, daughter of Albert Osborne and Rosa Lee Osborne of Alamance County, NC; they had five children.

From 1953 to 1955, Robert Walter Scott was a special agent for the Counter Intelligence Corps of the U.S. Army and served in the Far East. At the end of his tour he returned to the family farm just as he would throughout his political career.

In 1961, Robert Walter Scott served as Master of the State Grange. Gov. James Terry Sanford appointed him to serve on the State Board of Conservation and Development.

In the 1964 general election, Robert Walter Scott was elected by the people as the next Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina, and he served from January 8, 1965 to January 3, 1969 under Gov. Daniel Killian Moore.

In the 1968 general election, Robert Walter Scott was elected by the people as the next Governor of North Carolina, and he served from January 3, 1969 to January 5, 1973. During Gov. Scott’s term North Carolina instituted a kindergarten program and increased vocational education in the high schools. The legislature increased taxes on gasoline, tobacco, and soft drinks to support highway construction and new programs. Gov. Scott placed an emphasis on planning and established the Council on State Goals and Policy and a system of multi-county planning regions toward that end. Scott’s governorship marked the end of the seventy-two-year Democratic monopoly on the office. He was also only the second son of a governor to also serve as governor.

At the close of his term as governor, Robert Walter Scott became Vice-President of the NC Agribusiness Council. He co-chaired the Appalachian Regional Commission from 1977 to 1979. In 1980, he unsuccessfully challenged Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. in the Democratic primary for governor. From 1983 to 1994, he served as president of the state’s community college system.

Robert Walter Scott died on January 23, 2009, and he was buried in the Hawfields Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Mebane, NC.


Robert Walter (Bob) Scott (born 13 June 1929, Haw River, North Carolina) was the Democratic governor of the state of North Carolina from 1969 to 1973.

The son of North Carolina Governor W. Kerr Scott, Bob Scott was a dairy farmer before being elected to the post of Lieutenant Governor in 1964 and that of Governor in 1968. Constitutionally barred from seeking another term, he later served as co-chairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission and as President of the North Carolina Community College System (from 1983 until 1995).

His daughter, Meg Scott Phipps, later became North Carolina's commissioner of agriculture; in 2003, Bob Scott was implicated in the campaign finance scandal which drove Phipps to resign from office.


Public service is part of the genetic makeup of Robert Walter Scott. His grandfather, father, and uncle were highly involved in politics, with father William Kerr Scott serving as Governor and US Senator.

Bob grew up on a dairy farm in Haw River. After graduating from NC State and a stint in the US Army, he became Master of the state Grange. In 1964 he won the race for Lieutenant Governor, becoming Governor in 1968.

As Governor he helped establish the state kindergarten program and was instrumental in the consolidation of the university system.

He was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to be co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission. In 1983, he was appointed president of the State Community Colleges and is highly praised for guiding them through a time of change.


Robert Walter Scott was born in Haw River, NC, on June 13, 1929. Scott received a B.S. from North Carolina State University in 1952. He served in the U.S. Army Counter-Intelligence Corps from 1953 to 1955.
Born in Alamance County, Robert Walter Scott was the son of William Kerr Scott, Governor of the state, 1949-1953. He was a dairy farmer, active in National and State Grange, and a member of various agricultural organizations. His public service began when he was a member of the U.S. Army Counter-Intelligence Corps, 1953-1955, and then as NC Lieutenant Governor, 1965-1969. He was also President of Senate from 1965 to 1969 since he was Lieutenant Governor. In 1969, he took office as Governor of North Carolina. As governor, he raised large sums of money for education with the passage of tobacco and soft drink tax legislation which he recommended. During his term, passage of gasoline taxes made vast highway expansion possible. Free transportation for handicapped people; kindergartens; high school vocational programs; community college and technical school system expansion were accomplishments of his administration. In later years, he returned to state service as the President of the North Carolina Community College System. Former public offices include: Member, State Board of Conservation and Development (1961-64); Member, North Carolina Seashore Commission (1962-64); Member, Kerr Reservoir Development Commission (1961-64); Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina (1965-69). Robert Walter Scott has been a member of the North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation, Soil Conservation Society of American, and Master of North Carolina State Grange (1961-63).
Scott chaired the Southern Regional Education Board (1970-71), the Democratic Governors' Conference (1970-71), and the Education Commission of the States (1971-72). He also was a member of National Governors' Conference Executive Committee from 1970 to 1971).

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