Omaha billionaire philanthropist Walter Scott Jr. dies at 90 | Nebraska News
These investments were hugely successful and made Scott a billionaire as he partially owned the company that employed him. He became the base of the wealth that would fuel much of his philanthropy.
Scott’s connection to the Kiewit Company dates back to his father, the late Walter Scott. Peter Kiewit hired Elder Scott in 1926 to oversee the construction of the State Capitol Tower.
As a teenager, Walter Scott Jr. spent his summers working as a water boy on Kiewit projects.
Scott joined Kiewit full-time after graduating from Colorado State University with an engineering degree, which later became another beneficiary of his philanthropy. In his early years with Kiewit, Scott went wherever construction took him, moving 17 times.
Scott, his first wife, Carolyn, and their first two children once lived in a neighborhood bar. Carolyn Scott died in 1983. Walter Scott married Suzanne Singer in 1987.
Scott became president of Kiewit in September 1979, when Robert Wilson retired due to health issues. Two months later, Peter Kiewit passed away and Scott became President and CEO.
Kiewit had taken over his family’s small construction company based in Omaha and integrated it into a much larger company, ranking among the top dozen construction companies in the country in most years. Under Kiewit’s leadership, the construction business grew into a business that relished huge and risky projects.