Diana Ross (author)

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For the American singer and entertainer, see Diana Ross.
Diana Ross
Born (1910-07-08)8 July 1910
Valletta, Malta Colony
Died 4 May 2000(2000-05-04) (aged 89)
Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne
Pen name Gri (illustrations)
Occupation Writer, teacher, illustrator, fine artist
Nationality English
Period 20th century
Subject Children's literature, picture books
Children 1

Diana Patience Beverly Ross (8 July 1910 – 4 May 2000), relative of Robert Ross, was an English children's author and occasional and longtime resident of Shaw, near Melksham, in Wiltshire. A graduate of the Central School of Art in London, she also worked on sculpture and graphic arts and illustrated several of her own books under the name of her cat, Gri.


In her early twenties, Ross worked at the Grenfell Mission orphanage in St. Anthony and would later help Wilfred Grenfell to research his history, The Romance of Labrador, as well as, without credit, drawing the book's illustrations.


Beginning with The Little Red Engine Gets a Name (1942), followed by The Story of the Little Red Engine (1945) (ISBN 0-233-00147-6) and seven more volumes, Ross created a series of picture books which followed the adventures of the same character. Jan Lewitt and George Him provided the illustrations for the first volume and Leslie Wood its sequels.

Radio and TV[edit]

Ross had several of her short works read alone for BBC radio broadcasts for children and wrote several volumes of modern fairy tales for older children. Ross also had an un-credited part in the creation of the BBC children's television series Camberwick Green.


Suffering from Alzheimer's Disease and polyneuritis, she lived the last ten years of her life with her daughter and son-in-law in Newcastle upon Tyne.

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