Cover image for You meet such interesting people
You meet such interesting people
Scott, Bess Whitehead, 1890-1997.
First edition.
Publication Information:
College Station : Texas A&M University Press, [1989]

Physical Description:
xii, 195 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN4874.S36 A3 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



"It wasn't easy in those days for a woman to get her foot in the city room door. Bess made it because she understood one of the basic principles of the newspaper business--everyone has a story. You have only to discover it and tell it well.

"She will tell you in this book about meeting interesting people. You will learn that there are few more interesting than Bess Scott herself."--William P. Hobby

At the age of twenty-five, Bess Whitehead Scott became the first woman reporter for the city desk of the Houston Post . The year was 1915.

The author's memoir of the first ninety-seven years of her life illustrates how determination, courage, hard work, and caring family and friends propelled her past enormous obstacles, including poverty and a hearing impairment. Born near Blanket, Texas, in 1890, she grew up on a small farm held together by her widowed mother and eight brothers and sisters. Scott graduated from Baylor University and taught school briefly before she persuaded the Post editors to give her a chance. Her success led to other jobs in the then-unnamed field of public relations. Then, even before the filming of the silent movie classic, Birth of a Nation , she went to the little film colony called Hollywood, to try her hand at writing "scenarios."

Fame and fortune kept their distance from Bess Scott, but she did encounter many individuals whose fame, or infamy, whose friendship or failures made a deep impression on her. Clark Gable and Lyndon Johnson were her friends; her best friend, Lila Danforth, was always there during rough times when her marriage failed and she had to support her two small children by double moonlighting to supplement her meager earnings as a reporter. The opportunities and rights of women, the handicapped, and single, working mothers that are today taken for granted did not exist for Bess Whitehead Scott's mother or for her. Their talents and stamina in fighting rural and urban hardships exemplify a century of women's progress and highlight the roles played by the "interesting" people strung along the thread of their lives.

Author Notes

Bess Whitehead Scott has been a teacher, reporter, publicist, ad agency executive, freelance writer, and lecturer in her seventy-five-year career. She lives in Austin and has no plans to retire.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The first women reporter for the Houston Post recounts her childhood in 1890s Texas, her education at Baylor Female College, the difficulties of marriage and family life, and the many places her professional life has taken her. In pursuit of her first love--reporting--Scott met and interviewed both politicians and movie stars, among them, Clark Gable, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson. Although no Janet Flanner, Scott has lived a solid, interesting life and made a contribution to the progress of women at a time when women's opportunities were few and restricted. To be indexed. --Jane Jurgens

Publisher's Weekly Review

High moments in the life of nonagenarian Scott, the first woman to break into newspaper work in Texas, unfold lackadaisically in this relaxed, somewhat humdrum memoir. Born in rural Texas in 1890 and raised with eight siblings on a farm by her widowed mother, Scott enjoyed a childhood ``filled with love and security and simple pleasures'' but also marred by poverty and recurrent illness. She graduated from Baylor University in Houston, and in 1915 launched her career as a reporter at the Houston Post : ``I wanted to be the best .'' Though spending most of her professional life at that paper, Scott also worked sporadically in public relations and as a screenwriter in the fledgling movie business in Hollywood (``I marvel now at my failure to perceive the impact the growing film industry would have on the nation''). A failed marriage and single motherhood seemed to increase her determination to succeed. Presenting herself as a pioneer but not a crusader, the author will gain respect for her accomplishments, but her pedestrian writing style will deter many readers. Photos not seen by PW. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved