Genevieve Scott, pioneering black manager at NYSE, dies

Genevieve Baker Scott, of Roosevelt, passed away suddenly

Genevieve Baker Scott, of Roosevelt, passed away suddenly on Dec. 19, 2012. (Credit: Handout)

On her daughter's wedding day in 1994, Genevieve Scott wore a plum gown that sparkled with beads and had a deep plunge down the back. She beamed hearing the oohs and aahs as she walked down the aisle.

Her daughter had expected no less from her glamorous mom. "She got more looks than I did," recalled Cheryl Scott-Mouzon, of Bristow, Va., who said her mother would not be seen with "a hair out of place." It was her way of showing self-confidence and pride, she said.

"Gene" Scott, as friends knew her, was a social butterfly who despite little formal training worked her way to a managerial job in the New York Stock Exchange. She was among African-Americans who endured overt racism as they became pioneers in their workplaces, her family said.

Scott died Dec. 19 at the Baldwin home where she and her husband raised two daughters. She was 86.

Born Genevieve Baker in Brooklyn, she grew up in Manhattan, where she attended the now-closed Seward Park High School on the Lower East Side. She also attended a Harlem night school, now the Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing and Visual Arts.

In 1948, she wed high school sweetheart Robert M. Scott, who became a psychiatrist. He died in 2005.

Scott found herself as one of the few black employees when she went to work for Western Union in the mid-1940s, her daughter said.

Family legend is that she became a Teletype expert, among the fastest Morse code operators. By the late 1940s, her skills helped her get a job with the New York Cotton Exchange, where relatives said she persisted despite feeling largely ostracized because of her race.

"My mother, my grandmother, my aunt came from a strong stock," said Scott-Mouzon. "Unbeknownst to them, they were trailblazers."

Scott went to work for the New York Stock Exchange in the 1950s, and she excelled in recording and retransmitting quotes from the floor. By the time she retired in 1991, she was a quotation department manager, relatives said.

In the 1950s, she and her husband were among the first black condominium owners in their Harlem building. They later bought a house in Springfield Gardens, Queens, and became one of the first black families to settle in their Long Island neighborhood in the 1960s.

She and some friends formed an investment club whose proceeds allowed them to travel to Aruba, where she and her husband kept a summer home, the family said.

Scott also is survived by daughter Deirdre, of the Bronx, two grandsons and extended family. Her wake is set for Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. at the I.J. Morris Chapel in Hempstead. A funeral Mass will be said Friday at 10 a.m. at the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Church in Roosevelt.

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