Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Hill, Michael R. 1999. “Ross, Edward Alsworth.” Pp. 907-908 in American National Biography, volume 18, edited by John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes. Published under the auspices of the American Council of Learned Societies. New York: Oxford University Press.


Copyright 1999 Michael R. Hill


Edward Alsworth Ross (Dec. 12, 1866 - July 22, 1951), sociologist and writer, was born in Virden, Illinois, the son of William Carpenter Ross, a farmer, and Rachel Alsworth, a school teacher. Orphaned by his mother’s and father’s deaths (1874 and 1876, respectively), Ross was sheltered in turn by three Iowa farm families. Of the latter, Ross regarded Mary Beach as his foster mother. Alexander Campbell, Ross’ lawyer guardian, shepherded his inheritance, thereby providing ample funds for his schooling.