Glory: A Life Among Legends

Dr. Glory Van Scott starring in her play Miss Truth, inspired by the life of Sojourner Truth. 

By Dr. Glory Van Scott


Activist. Glory grew up in privilege, the daughter of a Chicago physician and his socialite wife. And then, in 1955, when she was just a girl, her cousin, Emmett Till, was murdered. Even through her anger, Glory knew that if she lay down in the mire and horror of her family tragedy, she would sink. It was her realization that she and her family were not the only ones in pain that helped her to cope. “People are in pain all the time. You won’t feel yours after a while if you’re busy making sure somebody else is lifted.”


Artist. Glory has been a principal dancer with the Katherine Dunham, Agnes De Mille, and Talley Beatty Companies. She has been a member of the American Ballet Theatre. She has composed eight musicals, including the critically acclaimed Miss Truth. She has danced on Broadway, in the movies, on television, and across the world, working with some of the most acclaimed dancers, directors, and choreographers in the world.


Educator. Glory holds a Ph.D. from Antioch Union Graduate School, and an MA and BA from Goddard College. She taught for ten years at the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts, and she founded Dr. Glory’s Youth Theatre at the New York Society for Ethical Culture. “I teach kids, all colors and religions, to involve them with each other in positive relationships and productive work, so they will know that hate is not an option.”


Intrigued by this amazing woman? Dr. Van Scott’s memoir of her extraordinary life soars as high as a dancer leaping across a stage—and it brims with the passion, beauty, and inspiration Glory imparts to everything she touches.

Dr. Glory alongside her co-star Philip Stamps in Langston Hughes's The Prodigal Son (1965).


Dr. Glory and Roy Wilkins, former director of the NAACP, at his retirement banquet (1977). 


Dr. Glory dancing the role of the Queen in Divine Drumbeats, directed by Katherine Dunham (1980).

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