Guide to the Sam Ross (1912-1998) Papers

Collection Title: Sam Ross (1912-1998) Papers
Dates: 1978-1979
Identification: 55/9
Creator: Ross, Sam, 1912-
Extent: 4 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: The Sam Ross Papers include four folders of correspondence, the first, second, and final drafts of Windy City, working notes for and fragment of the novel, and the second draft of another of his books, Solomon's Palace. The Sam Ross Papers provide an inside view of the tribulations associated with the publication of a novel, and it questions promotional methods, arising from Ross's conviction that Putman & Sons was underselling Windy City. The correspondence is not extensive, and must represent only a small part of his communications concerning the novel.
Acquisition Information: The Sam Ross Papers were donated to the University Archives by Mr. Ross in 1979.
Processing Information: Andrew Leslie, April 18, 1980.
Conditions Governing Access: None.
Repository: Northwestern University Archives
Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
URL: http://www.library.northwestern.edu/archives
Email: archives@northwestern.edu
Phone: 847-491-3354

Biographical/Historical Information

Sam Ross, born Samuel William Rosen on March 10, 1912, in Kiev, Russia, is a Chicago bred novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. His parents, Morris and Sophia Friedman Rosen, emigrated to Chicago's west side shortly after his birth. He graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1929 and took his B.S. in Journalism at Northwestern University in 1934. Ross died in 1998.

At Northwestern Ross swam for the varsity team and was an all-conference forward for the University's water polo squad. In his freshman year he pledged Phi Epsilon Pi fraternity and joined the Purple Minute Men, Northwestern's chapter of the American Red Cross Life Saving Corps. In 1932 he became a member of the Purple Key, and joined the Purple Claw in 1933.

Ross entered the United States Army in 1942, leaving it in 1943 to join the Merchant Marine, where he reached the rank of ensign. He published his first novel, He Ran All The Way, in 1947. In addition to fourteen published novels, Ross has written a play, My House Is Your House, the screenplay for He Ran All The Way starring John Garfield, and television episodes for “Ben Casey,” “Rawhide,” “Adventures In Paradise,” “Naked City,” “The FBI,” “Mannix,” and “Get Christie Love,” among others.

Chicago and Northwestern are the main settings for his latest novel, Windy City, published in 1979. The novel, written in a straightforward and fast-paced style, is largely autobiographical and considered one of his best works. Ross describes it as an extension of two earlier works, Someday, Boy and The Sidewalks Are Free.

Scope and Content

The Sam Ross Papers include four folders of correspondence: one with Laurie Tag, his editor at Putnam & Sons, two with Bill Targ, friend and former editor at Putnam, and one with his agent, Ann Elmo. They also contain the first, second, and final drafts of Windy City, working notes for and fragment of the novel, and the second draft of another of his books, Solomon's Palace.

The correspondence spans the fall of 1978 and spring of 1979. It provides an inside view of the tribulations associated with the publication of a novel, and it questions promotional methods, arising from Ross's conviction that Putman & Sons was underselling Windy City.

Arrangement of Materials

The arrangement of the three drafts of Windy City reflects the evolution of the novel through editing and rewriting. The draft of Solomon's Palace follows the Windy City drafts. The correspondence is not extensive, and must represent only a small part of his communications concerning the novel.

Subjects

Personal Name

Ross, Sam, 1912-


Container List / Contents

  • Correspondence with Ann Elmo, agent.Box 1, Folder 1
  • Correspondence with Laurie Tag, Putnam & SonsBox 1, Folder 2
  • Correspondence to Bill TargBox 1, Folder 3
  • Correspondence from Bill TargBox 1, Folder 4
  • Outline ofBox 1, Folder 5
  • First two handwritten openings toBox 1, Folder 6
  • Very first draft, segments of handwritten pages.Box 1, Folder 7
  • Windy City, first draft carbon, pp. 1-267Box 1, Folder 8
  • Windy City, first draft carbon, pp. 268-514Box 1, Folder 9
  • Windy City, first draft carbon, pp. 515-720 (end).Box 1, Folder 10
  • Windy City, first draft, pages cut.Box 1, Folder 11
  • Windy City, first draft, pages cut or altered.Box 1, Folder 12
  • Windy City, second draft, pp. 1-168Box 2, Folder 1
  • Windy City, second draft, pp. 169-306Box 2, Folder 2
  • Windy City, second draft, pp. 307-468Box 2, Folder 3
  • Windy City, second draft, pp. 470-612aBox 2, Folder 4
  • Windy City, second draft, pp. 613-720.Box 2, Folder 5
  • Windy City, final draft, pp. 1-162.Box 2, Folder 6
  • Windy City, final draft, pp. 163-316.Box 3, Folder 1
  • Windy City, final draft, pp. 317-499Box 3, Folder 2
  • Windy City, final draft, pp. 500-645Box 3, Folder 3
  • Windy City, final draft, pp. 645-720Box 3, Folder 4
  • Windy City, notes on the outlineBox 3, Folder 5
  • Windy City, notes on his father and the ending.Box 3, Folder 6
  • Windy City, notes on hobos, tramps, and bumming.Box 3, Folder 7
  • Windy City, notes on the Kid, and California.Box 3, Folder 8
  • Windy City, notes on writing.Box 3, Folder 9
  • Windy City, notes on boxing, Wobblies, and Labor.Box 3, Folder 10
  • Windy City, notes on Chicago, Rhoda, etc.Box 3, Folder 11
  • Windy City, notes - general.Box 3, Folder 12
  • Windy City, notes - general.Box 3, Folder 13
  • Windy City, notes - articles.Box 3, Folder 14
  • Solomon’s Palace, second draft, pp. 1-188Box 4, Folder 1
  • Solomon’s Palace, second draft, pp. 189-535Box 4, Folder 2