In Memoriam

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John Finley Scott ’55

John Finley Scott '55, June 2006, in Davis, California, a victim of murder; John's body was discovered in April. John received a BA from Reed in philosophy. From Stanford, he received an MA in 1956, and from University of California, Berkeley, a PhD in 1966, in sociology. He married Lois Heyman in 1965; they divorced in 1987. John taught at University of California, Davis, retiring in 1994 as emeritus professor of sociology. He published Internalization of Norms: A Sociological Theory of Moral Commitment (Prentice Hall) in 1971. John was inspired by the photography of Ansel Adams to become an outdoorsman. A mountain-climbing accident at 23, which left permanent injuries, led him to seek alternative ways of ascending the California mountains. He was known in Davis as a “bicycle pioneer,” and described himself as a “bicycle guru.” He was instrumental not only in helping to establish bicyclists' rights in the State of California, but he also built the first prototype of the mountain bike in 1953. In 1960, he developed a “Woodsie,” a lighter-weight, off-road bike, which was a precursor to the modern mountain bike. His personalized license plate, “Homeric,” was attached to a double-decker London bus he created for mountain-bike touring. In 1980, he purchased the Cupertino Bike Shop, which he sold in 1989. His love of the outdoors endured, and he spent later years camping and developing his skills in photography. Survivors include his sister, Jane Scott Chamberlain. His father, Frank C. Scott ’15, also attended Reed.

Appeared in Reed magazine: November 2008

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