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Robert Samuel Ross image courtesy of the NLA
R. S. Ross R. S. Ross i(A29363 works by) (a.k.a. Robert Samuel Ross; Bob Ross)
Born: Established: 5 Jan 1873 Sydney, New South Wales, ; Died: Ceased: 24 Sep 1931 Richmond, East Melbourne - Richmond area, Melbourne, Victoria,
Gender: Male
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Robert Samuel Ross was born in Sydney, the son of a compositor. After moving to Brisbane where his father edited a newspaper, he completed his education there and worked as a messenger boy before being apprenticed as a compositor. With ink in his blood, he was editing his own sports newspapers by the time he was twenty.

Ross was a devoted unionist, working for the cause as a journalist, public speaker and agitator. He was a founding member of the Queensland Socialist League in 1894 and the Socialist Democratic Vanguard in 1900.

In 1903, Ross moved with his wife and two sons to Broken Hill where he was editor of the Barrier Truth. Ross's impatience with local action and his strong anti-clerical stance led to a vote of no-confidence. He resigned in November 1905, but not before he accepted Joseph Furphy's socialist novel Rigby's Romance, which had been running as a serial since the end of October. He remained in Broken Hill as the municipal librarian, introducing radical literature to the community that he believed would mobilise workers.

In 1908 Ross accepted the Victorian Socialist Party's offer to become secretary and editor of the party's magazine, the Socialist. From this time, Ross remained heavily involved in politics, editing a number of union journals, and providing a strong voice to public debate on social issues. As an editor, his most notable publication was Ross's Monthly of Protest, Personality and Progress, which ran from 1915 until 1924, when it was incorporated into the Union Voice. As a testament to the level of his public profile in the late 1920s, Ross was a council-member of the University of Melbourne, a trustee of the Public Library, museums and National Gallery, and a commissioner of the State Savings Bank. He died in Richmond, Victoria, on 24 September 1931.

(For an extended biography, see the ADB entry for Robert Samuel Ross.)


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Last amended 9 Jun 2015 17:20:34
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