Ross, William B. 1915-2003
ROSS, William B. 1915-2003
See index for CA sketch: Born January 29, 1915, in Spokane, WA; died of complications following surgery August 21, 2003, in Los Angeles, CA. Businessman and author. Ross was a public relations advisor who specialized in organizing political campaigns for such important figures as President Richard M. Nixon and California Governor Pat Brown. His undergraduate degree was in journalism, which he earned at the University of Southern California in 1937. To help pay for his schooling, he started publishing small newspapers and thus learned about advertising; this inspired him, while still a college senior, to found his first company, W. B. Ross and Associates, an advertising copy firm. He ran this company until forming a partnership with Herbert M. Baus to form Baus & Ross Co., a public relations firm, in 1948. Ross and Baus made for a creative team that is credited by many with initiating such then-innovative practices as direct mailing and telephone polls for political candidates. In addition to working for such candidates as Nixon and Brown, they campaigned for Barry Goldwater and mayoral candidates in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The firm also formed publicity campaigns for political issues such as bond and land acquisition measures. After Baus retired in 1968 Ross continued to run the company for several years. Ross and Baus's public relations firm was admired for its efficiency and innovation—they boasted a ninety-percent success rate—and together they published a popular book on their methods titled Politics Battle Plan (1968). In addition to running his company, Baus was a member of the board of directors of Golden State Bank and Welfare Planning Council for over twenty years, and he served as vice president of the California Adoption Foundation.
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Chicago Tribune, August 27, 2003, section 1, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times, August 26, 2003, p. B11.
Washington Post, August 27, 2003, p. B6.