Construction of Scripps Pier 1916
The Scripps Name - A Valued Legacy
In 1844, the Scripps family came to the United States from London, England, bringing with them a family tradition of bookbinding and newspaper publishing. The oldest son, James Edward Scripps, was an innovator who published a paper for the American working man. The paper sold for two cents, undercutting the big, wordy city dailies that cost a nickel.
E. W. Scripps, the youngest son, founded a newspaper organization that grew to 25 dailies and United Press, the forerunner of UPI. Ellen Browning Scripps worked with her brother as a professional editor and syndicated columnist.
In 1903, E. W. and Ellen Scripps met the man who would turn their interest, talents, and generosity toward the young science of marine biology: William E. Ritter, a University of California, Berkeley zoologist. With other San Diego civic leaders, the Scripps's helped found the Marine Biological Association of San Diego. The purpose of the association was to establish a permanent marine biological institution, along with a public aquarium and museum. Dr. Ritter was the institution's first director.
A generous endowment from Ellen Browning Scripps allowed the marine station to prosper. In 1912, it became a department of the University of California. In 1925, it was given a new name, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, to honor the family that had founded and nurtured it.