Murray G. Ross

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Murray George Ross
O.C., O.Ont.
President of York University
In office
Succeeded by David W. Slater
Personal details
Born (1910-04-12)April 12, 1910
Sydney, Nova Scotia
Died July 20, 2000(2000-07-20) (aged 90)
Nationality Canadian
Religion Protestant

Murray George Ross, OC OOnt (April 12, 1910 – July 20, 2000) was a Canadian sociologist, author, and academic administrator. He was the founding president of Toronto's York University and served in that role from 1959 to 1970.

Born in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Ross received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and sociology from Acadia University in 1936. He received a Master of Arts degree in sociology from the University of Toronto in 1938. He did post-graduate work in sociology at the University of Chicago in 1939 and in Social psychology from Columbia University in 1949. He received a LL.D. from the University of Toronto in 1971.[1]

In 1951, Ross was appointed an associate professor of Social Work at the University of Toronto. He became a Professor in 1955. From 1956 to 1957, he was an Executive Assistant to the President and was a Vice-President from 1957 to 1959. In 1959, he was appointed President of York University and served until 1970 when he became a Professor of Social Science. He retired in 1972.[1]


In 1979, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada "in recognition of his innovative leadership in the field of higher education".[2] He was awarded the Order of Ontario in 1988. He was awarded the Canadian Centennial Medal and the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal.[1]

The Murray Ross Parkway, the Ross Building, and the Murray G. Ross Award at York University are named after him. A well known womanizer who had affairs with students, he fathered at least one child out of wed lock with a woman 34 years his junior in 1972. He refused to acknowledge either the woman or his son once he became aware of the pregnancy. Further he provided no financial support, and was only concerned with his reputation. In 1996, his illegitimate son began legal action against him in order to receive minimal assistance with his law school tuition. However, Ross was able to use his influence to corrupt the process and falsify the resulting DNA results. His daughter and son, Susan Shone and Robert Ross, assisted him in this regard. Although his illegitimate son now has evidence that the DNA results were falsified and performed on blood other then Ross, he died in 2000 and no further legal action, either civil or criminal has been brought, yet, in this matter.

Selected works[edit]

  • Religious Beliefs of Youth: A Study and Analysis of the Structure and Function of the Religious Beliefs of Young Adults, Based on a Questionnaire Sample of 1,935 Youth and Intensive Interviews with 100 Young People (Association Press, 1950)
  • The Y.M.C.A. in Canada: The Chronicle of a Century (Ryerson Press, 1951)
  • New Understandings of Leadership: A Survey and Application of Research with Charles E. Hendry (Association Press, 1957)
  • Case Histories in Community Organization (Harper, 1958)
  • The new university (University of Toronto Press, 1961)
  • New Universities in the Modern World (St. Martin's Press, 1966)
  • Community Organization; Theory, Principles, and Practice with B. W. Lappin (Harper & Row, 1967)
  • The University: The Anatomy of Academe (McGraw-Hill, 1976)
  • Canadian Corporate Directors on the Firing Line: On the Firing Line (McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1980)
  • The Way Must be Tried: Memoirs of a University Man (Stoddart, 1992)


External links[edit]