- Category : Writers-Detective-Mystery
- Type : PSE
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Rulership 4
American-Canadian mystery writer who used the same chair for writing for three decades. He received an Edgar in 1962 and 1963 and the Silver Dagger award in 1965 and the Golden Dagger award in 1966. While writing, he used the names Kenneth Millar, John Ross MacDonald, John D. MacDonald, and settled on Ross Macdonald with a lower-case d. He received the Mystery Writer's of America Edgar Allen Poe scrolls in 1962 and 1963, the Crime Writer's Associate of London Silver Dagger award in 1965 and the Golden Dagger award in 1966.
Born while his Canadian parents were stranded in California, the family moved back to Canada when he was very young. His parents separated and he lived with kin along with his mom, who was in delicate health. He estimated that when he graduated high school in 1931 he had had 50 different rooms. Sexually precocious, he was eight when he had his first experience. In later years he considered he had been on the borderline of trouble and could have easily become a criminal.
Ross received his Bachelor's degree with honors from University of Western Ontario and a doctoral degree in English literature from the University of Michigan in 1951. He taught English and history at his old high school from 1939 to 1941. Ross was in the Navy during World War II. After the war he started writing spy novels and later private eye stories, developing his character Lew Archer in "The Moving Target" in 1949. Many of his novels were filmed. An unassuming man, his role models were Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. He had a close relationship with his publisher, Alfred Knopf. He read "The Great Gatsby" once a year to refresh his appreciation of its language. Ross had the habit of sitting in the same chair in his bedroom five days a week from 11 AM to 3 PM writing 1000 words each day. By 1969 money was no longer a problem. He was honored with the Los Angeles Times Robert Kirsch award 11/21/1982 for his body of work.
He met Margaret Strum as a fellow debater in Kitchener Collegiate Institute in Ontario and again six years later at the University of Toronto. They were married in 1938. In 1939, restricted with a heart condition, she began to write mysteries. While Ross was in the navy, Margaret bought a home in Santa Barbara, CA where they lived there until his death. They had one child, Linda, who left home early. She died in 1970 at age 31.
For the three years prior to his death, Ross suffered from Alzheimer's disease. He died 7/11/1983.