Ed Scripps






Businessman and philanthropist

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Edward “Ed” W. Scripps Jr. is a businessman and philanthropist from Seattle. He is one of the heirs to the E.W. Scripps family fortune. Scripps and his wife Christy are major supporters of civic causes such as universities and other civic causes. 1 But unlike other major philanthropists, they do not have a specific giving vehicle such as a private foundation. Instead, they mostly rely on personal contributions to the causes they support.

While Scripps does not have a personal private foundation, he does contribute money to one of his family’s foundations, the Scripps Howard Foundation. He is a previous trustee, vice president, and member of the executive committee of the foundation, which serves as the philanthropic arm of the E.W. Scripps Company. 2

Scripps is largely apolitical, though he has funded university research into environmentalist priorities.

Early Life

Ed Scripps was born in 1959. He is the son of Ted Scripps, an heir to the E.W. Scripps family fortune.  E.W. Scripps was the founder of a group of newspapers that were targeted at the working class, and he sold them for a penny. His competitors often sold their papers for five cents. Scripps used various tax avoidance tools such as trusts to pass down his fortune to his heirs. 3

Scripps began his working career in the media. He started at KCRL-TV, an NBC affiliate, in Reno, Nevada as an intern. He then joined the station on a permanent basis after college, serving as the station’s late-night news producer. 4

In 1983, Scripps then moved over to KJRH-TV, also an NBC affiliate, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The station is owned by the Scripps company. He would stay at the station for 11 years, eventually rising to become its news director. 5

During this time, he would meet his wife Christy, and they would have two children, Shannon and Brittany. The family would later move to Washington state. 6

Scripps would later become vice president of the Scripps Howard Foundation and a member of its executive committee. 7


E.W. Scripps Company Board of Directors

In 1998, Scripps was elected to the board of The E.W. Scripps Company. He earned his board membership through his family’s trust, which controls the majority of the board of the company. 8

During his tenure as board member, the company began branching out from its traditional newspaper and broadcast television affiliates and into new products such as niche cable channels. Among the accomplishments were the acquisition of the Food Network and the creation of HGTV. 9

In 2008, Scripps retired from the board of directors as the company prepared to split into two. One company would focus on national brands while another company would focus on local news. Scripps retired in order to spend more time with his family and to pursue other ventures that he long delayed. 10

Sailing Interests

In 2010, Scripps became the co-owner of SAS Yachts. He then renamed the company Seattle Yachts. 11

As of 2017, the Scripps family owned a yacht named Zeehaen which is homeported in Seattle. 12


In 1995, Ed Scripps, along with his brother Bill, donated $30,000 for three years to establish a development program for chapter leaders of the Society of Professional Journalists. The grant was used to establish the annual Ted Scripps SPJ Leadership Retreat. 13

Ed and his wife Christy are also strong supporters of Washington State University. They are contributors to the university’s foundation 14 and have contributed at least $100,000 to the university’s College of Veterinary Medicine. 15

The Scripps support a professorship at the University of Washington. The professorship, called the Scripps Endowed Professorship in Hematology, was created in 2008 with a gift of $500,000 from the Scripps. This came after Christy Scripps’s mother was cared for at Harborview Medical Center and the family wanted to show its gratitude. 16

The Scripps continue to support the Scripps Howard Foundation. The most recent gift to the foundation was in 2018 with a $150,000 gift to the foundation. 17

In 2021, the Scripps, along with Ed’s brother Bill and his wife, donated $6 million to establish the Ted and Jean Scripps Marine Conservation and Technology Facility. The facility was named after their parents Ted and Jean Scripps. The focus of the institute is to study climate change and how it would change and effect the oceans. The new building would house the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, which is an interdisciplinary approach in the education of future leaders in marine stewardship with the goal to preserve marine species and ecosystems. 18


  1. “Benefactors”. 2022. Washington State University Foundation. Accessed February 21.
  2. “Scripps Howard Foundation, Full Filing – Nonprofit Explorer”. 2022. Propublica.
  3. Callahan, Patricia, James Bandler, Justin Elliott, Doris Burke, and Jeff Ernsthausen. 2021. “The Great Inheritors: How Three Families Shielded Their Fortunes From Taxes For Generations”. Propublica.,the%20commissioner%20as%20%E2%80%9Cmerely%20ephemeral.
  4. “Edward W. Scripps Jr. Elected To Scripps Board Of Directors”. 1998. Scripps.
  5. “Edward W. Scripps Jr. Elected To Scripps Board Of Directors”. 1998. Scripps.
  6. “Edward W. Scripps Jr. Elected To Scripps Board Of Directors”. 1998. Scripps.
  7.  “Edward W. Scripps Jr. Elected To Scripps Board Of Directors”. 1998. Scripps.
  8. “Edward W. Scripps Jr. Elected To Scripps Board Of Directors”. 1998. Scripps.
  9. Fabrikant, Geraldine. 2006. “Scripps Is In Search Of Its Next Food Network”. New York Times.
  10. “Edward W. Scripps Jr. Retires From Trust, Board”. 2008. Scripps.
  11. “SAS Yachts To Become Seattle Yachts”. 2010. Boating Industry.
  12. Swanson, Peter. 2013. “Pets Aboard: Daisy Is A ‘Hawsepiper’ On Zeehaen | Passagemaker”. Passage Maker.
  13. “Sons Of Ted Scripps To Fund New SPJ Leadership Program”. 1995. Society Of Professional Journalists.
  14. “Benefactors”. 2022. Washington State University Foundation. Accessed February 21.
  15. “Benefactors”. 2022. Washington State University College Of Veterinary Medicine. Accessed February 21.
  16. Reedy, Justin. 2008. “Broudy And Elkon Appointed To Endowed Professorships”. UW News.
  17. “Scripps Howard Foundation, Full Filing – Nonprofit Explorer”. 2022. Propublica.
  18. Jennewein, Chris. 2021. “Scripps Family Donates $6 Million Toward New Marine Science Research Facility”. Times Of San Diego.
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