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Scott Adams (1957)

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  Summary  

Scott Raymond Adams is the American creator of the Dilbert comic strip and the author of several nonfiction works of satire, commentary, business, and general speculation.

His Dilbert series came to national prominence through the downsizing period in 1990s America, and then was distributed worldwide. A former worker in various roles at big businesses, he became a full-time cartoonist in 1995. Adams writes in a satirical, often sarcastic way about the social and mental landscape of white-collar workers in modern corporations and other large enterprises.

  Biography  

 early life
Scott Adams was born in Windham, New York in 1957. He grew up a big fan of the Peanuts comics, and started drawing his own comics at the age of six. He also became a fan of Mad magazine, and began spending long hours practicing his drawing talent, winning a competition at the age of eleven. In 1968 he was rejected for an arts school and instead focused on a career in law. Adams graduated valedictorian at Windham-Ashland-Jewett Central School in 1975, with a class size of 39. He remained in the area and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Hartwick College in 1979. In his senior year, a vehicle breakdown forced him to almost spend a night in the snow, causing him to vow never to see a snowflake again. He took a one way trip to California a few months after his graduation.

 career
 Office worker
Adams worked closely with telecommunications engineers at Crocker National Bank in San Francisco between 1979 and 1986. Upon joining the organization he quickly entered a management training program after being held at gunpoint twice in four months as a teller. Over the years his positions included: management trainee, computer programmer, budget analyst, commercial lender, product manager, and supervisor. During presentations to upper management he often turned to his comic creations to add humor. He earned an MBA in economics and management from the University of California, Berkeley in 1986.

Adams created Dilbert the character during this period; the name came from ex-boss Mike Goodwin. Dogbert, originally named Dildog, was loosely based on his family's deceased pet beagle Lucy. Periodic attempts to win publication with Dilbert and non-Dilbert comic panels alike failed, including with The New Yorker and Playboy . However an inspirational letter from Jack Casady persuaded Adams to keep trying.

He worked at Pacific Bell between 1986 and June 1995, and the personalities he encountered became the inspiration for many of his Dilbert characters. Adams first published Dilbert with United Media in 1989, while still employed at Pacific Bell. He had to draw his cartoons at 4am in order to work a full day at the company. His first pay-check for Dilbert was a monthly royalty check of $368.62. Gradually Dilbert became more popular, and was published by 100 newspapers in 1991, and 400 by 1994. Adams attributes his success to his idea of including his e-mail address in the panels, thus facilitating feedback from readers.

 Fulltime cartoonist
As he became a full-time cartoonist, with Dilbert in 800 newspapers, Adams' success grew. In 1996 The Dilbert Principle was released, his first business book.

In 1997, at the invitation of Logitech CEO Pierluigi Zappacosta, Adams, wearing a wig and false mustache, successfully impersonated a management consultant and tricked Logitech managers into adopting a mission statement that Adams described as "so impossibly complicated that it has no real content whatsoever." That year he won the National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year, and Best Newspaper Comic Strip of 1997 - the most prestigious awards in the field.

In 1998 Dilbert made it as a TV series, but was cancelled in 2000. By 2000 the comic was in 2000 newspapers in 57 countries and 19 languages.


An avid fan of the science fiction TV series Babylon 5, he appeared in the season 4 episode "Moments of Transition" as a character named "Mr. Adams," who hires former head of security Michael Garibaldi to locate his megalomaniacal dog and cat. He also had a cameo in "Review", a third-season episode of the TV series NewsRadio, in which the character Matthew Brock becomes an obsessed Dilbert fan. Adams is credited as "Guy in line behind Dave and Joe in first scene". Later in the episode, the character Dave Nelson hires an actor to play Scott Adams in a trick to bring Matthew back to work at the station.

Adams is the CEO of Scott Adams Foods, Inc., makers of the Dilberito and Protein Chef, and a co-owner of Stacey's Café in Pleasanton, California. Much of his interest in the food business comes from the fact that he is a vegetarian.

On November 16, 2011, Adams announced his candidacy for president on his blog, running as a independent.

 personal life
He is a member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Adams is a former member of Mensa.

In recent years, Adams has had a series of debilitating health problems. Since late 2004, he has suffered from a reemergence of his focal dystonia which has affected his drawing, though he can work around the problem by drawing using a graphics tablet. He also suffers from spasmodic dysphonia, a condition that causes the vocal cords to behave in an abnormal manner. He recovered from this condition temporarily but in July 2008 underwent surgery to rewire the nerve connections to his vocal cord. In October 2008 Adams reported that he had regained the ability to speak, though not yet to shout. His condition is expected to continue improving over time as the nerve pathways regenerate.

Adams is a vegetarian and trained as a hypnotist. He credits his own success to affirmations, including Dilbert's success and a ninety-four on a difficult qualification exam for business school, among other unlikely events. He states that the affirmations give him focus.

Stephan Pastis, creator of Pearls Before Swine, credits Adams for launching his career as a cartoonist.

He married Shelly Miles in 2006 and currently resides in Pleasanton, California.

Adams has often commented on political matters. In 2007 he suggested that Michael Bloomberg would make a good presidential candidate.
Before the 2008 presidential election he said, "On social issues, I lean Libertarian, minus the crazy stuff." But in December 2011 he said that if he were president he would do whatever Bill Clinton advised him to because that "would lead to policies that are a sensible middle ground."

In March 2011, Adams wrote a blog post on the topic of men's rights after men's rights advocates responded in large numbers to his request for readers of his blog to choose his next topic. In the post Adams says that men treat women differently for the same reason that men treat children or the mentally handicapped differently—because it is an effective strategy. The post generated a significant backlash from men's rights advocates as well as feminists and following his own advice from the post—for men to take the path of least resistance when dealing with women—Adams deleted the post from his blog. Several weeks later the post continued to generate controversy. Scott Adams responded to the continuing controversy by reposting the original text preceded by an explanation. Adams argued that like virtually all other posts to his blog he had made extensive use of satire and sarcasm but that it seemed to have been lost on some readers. He wrote that the furor that erupted on both sides of the issue only served to illustrate the point he was making: "You can't expect to have a rational discussion on any topic that has an emotional charge."

In April 2011, Adams confessed that he had used a sockpuppet account to promote and defend himself on link-sharing sites Reddit and MetaFilter, pretending to be his own fan.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Scott Adams", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.