Scott's body was discovered near the Chicago River. The 60-year-old apparently shot himself in the head. A handgun was found at the scene.
Scott served in the Chicago government for many years and in several different capacities. He was school board president three times. He served as the city's director of special events and as president of the Chicago Park District, and he was a member of the Chicago 2016 Olympic Committee.
As the shock and grief of the sudden loss subsides, the spotlight will likely turn to why Scott allegedly ended his own life. He had come under investigation this year in a probe about improper preferential admissions to the top city public schools.
A story published in the Chicago Sun-Times said Scott had also been subpoenaed in a conflict-of-interest investigation into a housing project that was being developed by Scott and several partners.
Scott had been a friend and close adviser to some of Chicago's most influential personalities, including Mayor Richard Daley and Rev. Jesse Jackson, who said when he spoke to Scott last week, he appeared fine despite the legal challenges facing him.
"People are so very sad," Jackson told reporters. "The suddenness of it all – midday has become midnight. The sun has been eclipsed."