Marjorie Scardino

business executive
Born: 1947
Birthplace: Flagstaff, Arizona

After growing up Texarkana, Tex., where she participated in rodeos as a teenager, Marjorie Morris earned a BA in French and psychology from Baylor University in 1969. She began law school at George Washington University but dropped out to become a journalist. She later married Albert Scardino, a journalist, in California, and she received a law degree from the University of San Francisco in 1975. They moved to Savannah three years later, where Scardino became a lawyer. She and her husband purchased a weekly newspaper, the Georgia Gazette, which won a 1984 Pulitzer Prize. The paper eventually folded. In 1985 Scardino became managing director of the North American division of The Economist, a London-based business magazine. She increased circulation and profits. In 1992 she became CEO of The Economist Group. In 1997 Scardino was named CEO of Pearson, a $3.5 billion international media conglomerate based in London, which owns 50% of The Economist. Scardino decided to focus Pearson as a media company, selling such unrelated properties as Madame Tussaud's Waxworks and purchasing various educational and publishing properties. Scardino is the first woman to head a top 100 firm on the London Stock Exchange. She and her husband live in London and have three children.