One of the pivotal figures in the life of Scott Brown, Judge Samuel Zoll has passed away. To say that Zoll had an influence on the man who would shock the world in January 2010 is a behemoth understatement.
He was known as a no-nonsense but fair judge. Brown said he learned that himself when he was arrested for stealing records when he was 12 and appeared before the judge.
In Brown’s recent memoir, the senator recalled being called into Zoll’s chambers, where the judge asked him about his family, how he was doing in school and whether he liked sports. After Brown told Zoll he enjoyed playing basketball, the judge asked him if he had brothers and sisters who looked up to him.
“He looked me dead in the eye – no smile – and said, ‘How do you think they’re going to like seeing you play basketball in jail?'” Brown recalled. “That was like a sledgehammer hitting me in the head. It was the realization that I was going down the wrong path.”
“There’s no doubt that if not for the judge, I would not be a United States senator today. That was a point in my life where I was just lost,” Brown said. “Finally, somebody in authority took me aside and said, ‘You know what, you can be a better person.'”
They certainly don’t make jurists like Zoll anymore.