Producer, performer, educator, and civic activist, Glory Van Scott, was born in Chicago, Illinois, June 1, 1947. Van Scott's parents, Dr. and Ms. Thomas Van Scott, were raised near Greenwood, Mississippi and shared some Choctaw and Seminole ancestry. The trauma of Van Scott's cousin Emmett Till’s murder in 1955 did not diminish the benefit of the art, dance, and drama classes at The Abraham Lincoln Center, where she met Paul Robeson and Charity Bailey. Van Scott spent summers in Ethical Culture Camp in New York. A student at Oakland Elementary School and Dunbar High School, Van Scott finished high school at Ethical Culture High School in New York City.
That summer at the Society for Ethical Culture’s Encampment for Citizenship, Cicely Tyson referred Van Scott to actress Vinette Carroll, who mentored Van Scott in theatrical arts. Soon Van Scott was moving easily between modeling for the Wilhelmina Agency and performing; a principal dancer with the Katherine Dunham, Agnes DeMille, and Talley Beatty dance companies, she also joined the American Ballet Company. Van Scott appeared on Broadway in House of Flowers, with Pearl Bailey in 1954; Kwamina in 1961; The Great White Hope in 1968; Billy No-Name in 1970; and Rhythms of the Saints in 2003. Van Scott played the Rolls Royce Lady in 1974’s film, The Wiz.
While pursuing her career in the performing arts, Van Scott earned her B.A. and M.A. degrees from Goddard College, and her Ph.D. from Antioch College's Union Graduate School. For ten years Van Scott taught theater at Bucknell University’s Pennsylvania School for the Arts, and, later, Theater As Social Change at Fordham University. Van Scott became a Breadloaf Writers Scholar and the author of eight musicals including Miss Truth. Van Scott founded Dr. Glory’s Youth Theatre. Lipincott published Van Scott’s first children’s book, Baba and the Flea.
Van Scott served as coordinator for WNET’s Dance in America - Katherine Dunham: Devine Drum Beats in 2000, and produced The Katherine Dunham Gala at Carnegie Hall, and the 2003 Tribute to Fred Benjamin at Symphony Space. Van Scott was also project director and artistic coordinator for the Alvin Ailey Company’s The Magic of Katherine Dunham and co-producer of the National Black Touring Circuit, with Woodie King, Jr. of New York Dance Divas. Van Scott, immortalized in bronze by Elizabeth Catlett in 1981, was awarded the first Katherine Dunham Legacy Award in 2002.