Born on November 16, 1912, in Saint John, Daniel (Dan) Ross was a multi-talented individual known for his work as an actor, writer, soldier, entrepreneur, and playwright. He was the son of William Edward and Laura (née Brooks) Ross.
After attending Saint John High School, Daniel Ross studied at the Provincetown Playhouse in New York in 1934, leading him to further studies at the University of Chicago. He went on to study creative writing at the University of Oklahoma and Columbia University.
Daniel Ross mainly resided in Saint John, returning after the death of his first wife, Charlotte (née McCormack) Ross, in 1959. Between 1930 and 1948, he lived in various places across the United States, working as an actor and manager for a traveling production company. Encouraged by Walter Pidgeon, Ross returned to New Brunswick and established his own theater company between 1948 and 1957. During World War II, Ross served with British Entertainment Services. As the theater industry declined and television grew, Ross shifted to creative writing, making it his full-time career from 1957 to 1995. His second wife, Marilyn Ann Clark, worked as his assistant, proofreading and editing his work.
Recognized as “Canada’s Most Prolific Writer” by the New Brunswick Consortium of Professional Writers and “the fastest fiction writer that ever lived” by Alden Nowlan, Ross authored an impressive 358 novels, 12 plays, and over 600 short stories. He wrote in various genres, including gothic, mystery, western, and romance.
Under multiple pseudonyms such as Leslie Ames, Rose Dana, Ruth Dorset, Ann Gilmer, Ellen Randolph, Dan Roberts, Clarissa Ross, Dana Ross, Marilyn Ross, Jane Rossiter, Tex Steel, and Rose Williams, Ross wrote a wide range of novels, plays, and short stories. His complete works are housed at Boston University, and many of his works continue to sell posthumously. Ross received numerous accolades, including the Gibson National Literary Award for best first novel in Canada, recognition from the Guinness Book of World Records, an honorary doctorate from the University of New Brunswick (1988), and The Queen Elizabeth Silver Jubilee Medal (1978).
Under the name “Marilyn Ross,” he published Alice in Love (1965), Fog Island (1965), and 33 novels based on the TV series Dark Shadows from 1966 to 1972.
Daniel Ross passed away on November 1, 1995, in his hometown of Saint John at the age of 82.
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