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Scott Adams

Some Lesser Known Facts About Scott Adams

  • Scott Adams is half-German and has ancestors from England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and the Netherlands.
  • He enjoyed reading Peanuts comics as a child and started drawing cartoons when he was 6.
  • At 11, Scott Adams won a drawing competition. He was the topper of his high school class of 39 students.
  • After getting a degree in economics from Hartwick College in 1979, he moved to California and got a job.
  • In 1986, soon after finishing an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley, Scott Adams enrolled in Dale Carnegie Training and found it life-changing.
  • He worked with telecommunications engineers at Crocker National Bank in San Francisco from 1979 to 1986.
  • He joined the bank as a teller but had some bad experiences. He was held up at gunpoint twice in four months.
    An old picture of Scott Adams

    An old picture of Scott Adams

  • After that, Scott Adams joined a management training program in the same organisation and worked in various positions including management trainee, computer programmer, budget analyst, commercial lender, product manager, and supervisor.
  • Later, he started working at Pacific Bell. While working there, he started waking up at 4 a.m. every day to explore different things.
  • During this time, Scott Adams found that cartooning was his most successful effort. He then created a comic book named Dilbert. His former boss, Mike Goodwin, suggested the name ‘Dilbert’ to him.
    A picture of Dilbert cartoon

    A picture of the Dilbert cartoon

  • Another cartoon character named Dogbert, originally named Dildog was inspired by his family’s late pet beagle Lucy.
    A picture of Dilbert and Dogbert cartoon

    A picture of Dilbert and Dogbert cartoon

  • Scott Adams tried to get Dilbert and other comic panels published in places like The New Yorker and Playboy, but they got rejected.
  • However, a fan’s encouraging letter kept him motivated to keep trying.
  • He worked at Pacific Bell from 1986 to 30 June 1995, and many of the characters in Dilbert were inspired by people he met there.
  • While working at Pacific Bell in 1989, Scott Adams launched Dilbert with United Media. He kept drawing his cartoons to support himself financially.
    A young Scott Adams showing his cartoon characters

    A young Scott Adams showing his cartoon characters

  • His first payment for Dilbert was a monthly royalty check of $368.62. Over time, Dilbert gained popularity. By 1991, it was published in 100 newspapers, and by 1994, the number reached 400.
    A snip of a page from the comic book Dilbert

    A snip of a page from the comic book Dilbert

  • Scott Adams believed his decision to include his email address in the comic discussions contributed to his success. This led to feedback and suggestions from readers, which he found valuable.
  • As Dilbert gained popularity, he became a full-time cartoonist, and the comic started publishing in 800 newspapers.
  • Scott Adams appeared in a cameo role in the third-season episode ‘Review’ of the TV series NewsRadio in 1995.
    Scott Adams in a still from the third-season episode 'Review' of the TV series NewsRadio

    Scott Adams in a still from the third-season episode ‘Review’ of the TV series NewsRadio

  • In 1996, he released his first business book, The Dilbert Principle.
    A picture of the book The Dilbert Principle

    A picture of the book The Dilbert Principle

  • Scott Adams received the National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist and Best Newspaper Comic Strip in 1997.
  • After that, the CEO of Logitech, Pierluigi Zappacosta, asked him to work as a management consultant in his company. There, he worked while wearing a wig and false moustache.
  • In 1997, Scott Adams appeared as Mr Adams in the season 4 episode ‘Moments of Transition’ of the science fiction TV series Babylon 5.
    Scott Adams in a still from the science fiction TV series Babylon 5

    Scott Adams in a still from the science fiction TV series Babylon 5

  • He began a restaurant business in 1997 but left it after some time.
  • After that, he co-founded WhenHub, a service similar to Cameo. It offered live chats with subject-matter experts.
  • In January 1999, the Dilbert comic was adapted into a TV series and aired for two seasons on UPN.
  • Scott Adams worked as the executive producer and showrunner of the series, alongside Larry Charles, a writer from Seinfeld.
    The poster of Dilbert (TV Series 1999–2000)

    The poster of Dilbert (TV Series 1999–2000)

  • The show won a Primetime Emmy Award in 1999.
  • In 1999, he founded Scott Adams Foods, Inc. He introduced products like the Dilberito and Protein Chef. However, due to the failure of these products in the marketplace, he sold off the intellectual property of his company in 2003.
  • By 2000, Dilbert was published in 2,000 newspapers across 57 countries and in 19 languages.
  • Apart from being a cartoonist, Scott Adams is also an author who has written books on topics like self-improvement and religion.
  • His book God’s Debris (2001) covers a theory called pandeism, which means that God bursts to observe the consequences, which leads to the creation of our universe.
    A picture of the book God's Debris (2001)

    A picture of the book God’s Debris (2001)

  • In his book, The Religion War (2004), he suggests that the followers of theistic religions like Christianity and Islam might deeply know that their beliefs are not true. He says that their actions often oppose the doctrines of their religions.
    A cover of the book The Religion War (2004)

    A cover of the book The Religion War (2004)

  • Since 2004, Scott Adams has been dealing with focal dystonia, a condition that affects his ability to draw for a long period. He uses a graphics tablet for drawing.
  • He met Shelly Miles at a gym in Pleasanton, California, where Miles worked as a gym trainer, and Adams was a customer. His first marriage with Shelly Miles was arranged on a yacht, the Galaxy Commodore, in San Francisco Bay by its captain on 22 July 2006.
  • In 2007, Scott Adams suggested his political views on social media and stated that Michael Bloomberg would be a suitable presidential candidate.
  • Before the 2008 presidential election, he described himself as leaning libertarian on social issues.
  • Scott Adams had spasmodic dysphonia, a condition that affects the vocal cords. In July 2008, he underwent surgery to fix his vocal cords. After surgery, his voice became fully functional.
  • He is quoted in Walter Isaacson’s book “Steve Jobs,” where Adams wrote a blog post in 2010 discussing Jobs’ response to Antennagate.
  • In this blog post, Scott Adams praised Jobs’ decision to rewrite the public relations playbook and highlighted Jobs’ genius in handling the situation. Jobs reportedly shared this email with pride.
  • In December 2011, he stated that he would follow Bill Clinton’s advice if he were president.
  • His first wife, Miles, began living one block away from Adams’s house after their divorce in 2014.
  • In 2015, in some of his blog posts, he began predicting that Donald Trump had a 98 per cent chance of winning the presidency due to his convincing skills. He started analyzing Trump’s convincing techniques in his writings.
  • As his articles on this topic received popularity, Scott Adams began writing about it regularly.
  • He then began posting videos of this analysis on his show called Real Coffee with Scott Adams on his YouTube channel. These videos covered current events, politics, persuasion, and success strategies.
    Scott Adams in a still from his podcast Real Coffee with Scott Adams

    Scott Adams in a still from his podcast Real Coffee with Scott Adams

  • Apart from YouTube, Real Coffee with Scott Adams was broadcast on many other platforms including Periscope, ScottAdamsSays.com, and Locals.
  • The show featured guests like Naval Ravikant, Ed Latimore, Dave Rubin, Erik Finman, Greg Gutfeld, Matt Gaetz, Ben Askren, Carpe Donktum, Mark Schneider, Steve Hsu, Michael Shellenberger, Carson Griffith, Shiva Ayyadurai, James Nortey, Clint Morgan, and Bjørn Lomborg.
  • In 2015, Scott Adams stated that he would not endorse any candidate for the 2016 U.S. presidential election. However, he frequently praised Donald Trump‘s convincing skills.
  • He also predicted Trump’s success in getting the Republican nomination and winning the general election.
  • In 2016, he believed he belonged to some Native American ancestry, but when he had a genetic test named ’23andme genetic testing,’ he was proved wrong.
  • Mike Cernovich interviewed Scott Adams while making his documentaries Silenced (2016) and Hoaxed (2019).
  • In 2016, he contributed a chapter of life advice to Tim Ferriss’s collection, Tools of Titans.
  • Scott Adams has frequently shared his views on political and social issues. In 2016, he mentioned on his blog that he did not vote and was not connected to any political party.
  • He stated in a 2017 interview that his books on religion, rather than Dilbert, would be his legacy.
  • In 2018, Kanye West shared several clips from a Real Coffee episode titled “Scott Adams tells you how Kanye showed the way to The Golden Age. With Coffee” on Twitter.
  • In 2018, he praised Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for her persuasion skills.
  • Scott Adams got engaged to Kristina Basham on 25 December 2019 and got married on 11 July 2020. Basham has two daughters from her previous marriage.
  • In 2019, he faced criticism when, during the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting, in one of his tweets he suggested the witnesses to download the WhenHub app and “set your price to take calls.”
  • He later apologized and admitted that the message was poorly worded. Later, the WhenHub website became inactive.
  • In 2019, he contributed an article about an incident in the ‘San Jose Mercury News West Magazine,’ which won him an Orwell Award.
  • In 2020, President Donald Trump retweeted an episode where Scott Adams made fun of Joe Biden.
    Scott Adams posing with Donald Trump

    Scott Adams posing with Donald Trump

  • In 2020, Scott Adams expressed that his income from Dilbert was reduced within a year due to the closure of newspapers during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • On 28 June 2020, he claimed on Twitter that the Dilbert TV show was cancelled because he was white and UPN wanted to focus more on African-American viewers.
  • In March 2020, Scott Adams forecasted that Trump, Sanders, and Biden would all contract COVID-19 and one of them would die from it by the end of the year.
  • However, Politico stated that his prediction was incorrect as all three men remained alive by December 2020. Trump had contracted the virus.
  • On 28 June 2020, Scott Adams claimed on Twitter that the cancellation of the Dilbert TV show was due to racial discrimination. He wrote that UPN decided to focus on an African-American audience.
  • On 30 September 2021, he tweeted that his worst prediction ever was suggesting that if Biden got elected, there was a chance American citizens would die within a year.
  • Scott Adams has been a guest on various podcasts including Making Sense with Sam Harris, The Tim Ferriss Show, The James Altucher Show, The Ben Shapiro Show, The Rubin Report, Real Talk with Zuby, and The David Pakman Show.
  • He has appeared on many television shows like Real Time with Bill Maher, Commonwealth Club of California, Fox News, and Berkeley Haas.
    Scott Adams on Fox News

    Scott Adams on Fox News

  • After a mass shooting in 2022 during the Independence Day parade in Illinois, U.S., Adams tweeted that troubled teenage boys and their parents should be given two options, watch people die or kill their son.
  • He explained that his remarks were influenced by his stepson, who battled drug addiction from the age of 14 and later died of a fentanyl overdose.
  • Later, during a YouTube livestream, Scott Adams made false claims in which he suggested that those who had not taken the COVID-19 vaccine were better than vaccinated ones.
  • In a series of comic strips in September 2022, Dilbert, made jokes about environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) strategies.
    Scott Adams's comic series Dilbert on ESG

    Scott Adams’s comic series Dilbert on ESG

  • In 2023, he announced through one of his social media accounts that he had re-released his book ‘God’s Debris’ for free to his subscribers. He also mentioned that he planned to release an audiobook version of the book, narrated by artificial intelligence.
  • In April 2023, Scott Adams announced on Twitter that he had joined the Democratic Party.
  • After that, he stated that he was temporarily supporting Hillary Clinton out of concern for his safety as he was receiving direct and indirect death threats for not opposing Donald Trump in California.
  • In September 2023, Scott Adams changed his support from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump. He stated that he supported Trump’s convincing skills and disagreed with Clinton’s proposal to raise the inheritance tax and concerns over Clinton’s health.
    Scott Adams's comic series Dilbert on Trump's Power of Persuasion

    Scott Adams’s comic series Dilbert on Trump’s Power of Persuasion

  • After that, he mentioned on social media that writing positive things about Donald Trump and supporting him ended Adams’ public speaking career. It decreased his income by about 40% and the number of friends by about 75%.
  • Scott Adams is an animal lover. He has a pet dog named Snickers.
    Scott Adams with his pet dog, Snickers

    Scott Adams with his pet dog, Snickers

  • He once stated in one of his podcasts that women asking for equal pay are the same as the children demanding candy.
  • In response to the backlash, Adams claimed that his remarks were overstated and taken incorrectly. He stated that he did not support racism and believed that nobody would disagree with his main points.
  • On 13 March 2023, he announced that his comic would return as Dilbert Reborn on his website Locals.
  • Scott Adams is trained as a hypnotist. He once stated that he follows ‘affirmations’ for many of his achievements such as scoring the ninety-fourth percentile on a challenging business school qualification exam and creating the success of Dilbert. He finds that affirmations help him stay focused.
  • Once, he disclosed a method he used to achieve success. He said imagining what he wanted and writing it down 15 times a day on a piece of paper. This was the same technique which was described by Dogbert in a 1989 Dilbert episode.
  • Scott Adams has written several words and phrases including Confusopoly (for businesses that thrive by misleading customers), the Dilbert principle, Elbonia as a term for vague overseas countries, and insults like Pointy-Haired Boss (PHB) and Induhvidual.
  • He likes travelling to distant places in his free time.
    Scott Adams during a trip

    Scott Adams during a trip

  • Playing golf and basketball are his favourite hobbies.
    Scott Adams while playing basketball

    Scott Adams while playing basketball

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