Skip to main content

Ross, Sam, 1912-1998



  • Existence: 1912 - 1998


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.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Sam Ross (1912-1998) Papers

Identifier: 55/9
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...
Dates: 1978-1979