TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Esther Scott, the mother of Florida Gov. Rick Scott, died Tuesday, the governor said.
She was 84.
He said she died in her hometown of Kansas City, Mo. She had been hospitalized since last month with an infection.
“She had a great life,” said Scott, who added that she got to live the “American dream” after struggling financially for many years.
Esther Scott was introduced to Floridians as part of Scott’s maverick bid for governor in 2010.
She appeared in campaign commercials touting her son as a “good boy” at a time when the multimillionaire businessman was under attack by political rivals.
The state Republican Party used Esther Scott in another television ad in 2011 where she said her son had “made me proud” and that he was keeping his campaign promises.
Scott’s mother had a hand in her son’s early work as an entrepreneur, helping manage two Flavor Made doughnut shops he bought in the Kansas City area.
She said it was an unbelievable feeling to see him go on to found a major hospital chain and make a successful run for governor.
“To see your son succeed like he has, it has to be very rewarding for me,” Esther Scott said in a 2010 interview, “because I wanted my children to succeed, I wanted them to have an education, I wanted them to have a better life than I had.”
On the campaign trail, Rick Scott reminded voters that he spent part of his childhood in public housing and that his adoptive father was sometimes out of work.
“No one would have thought she would ever have a son that would become governor of Florida,” he said on Tuesday.
Her son’s wealth allowed Esther Scott to see the world and have all kinds of new experiences in her later years. She traveled to Antarctica, Africa, Europe and the Galapagos with him and his family. At 65, when she wanted to learn to ski, her son arranged for an instructor at Beaver Creek, Colo.
Associated Press writer Matt Sedensky contributed to this story.
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