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Thomas Ross was Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, RCA Corp., from 1982 until 1986. After the merger with GE he became Senior Vice President, NBC News.
The White House today announced the appointment of Thomas B. Ross as Special Assistant to the President, Senior Director for Public Affairs at the National Security Council and Deputy White House Press Secretary. The appointment will become effective April 4, 1994.
Mr. Ross is currently Senior Vice President and Worldwide Media Director for Hill and Knowlton, the international public relations firm. Previously, he was Senior Vice President of NBC News and Senior Vice President for Corporate Affairs of RCA.
Under the Carter Administration, Mr. Ross served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs and Pentagon spokesman from 1977 to 1981. Before serving in this role, he was Washington correspondent, foreign correspondent and Washington bureau chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.
Mr. Ross is a graduate of Yale and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He served as a naval officer on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific during the Korean conflict.
- March 17, 1994 Press Secretary Announcement
Thomas B. Ross, a journalist and best-selling author of books on military intelligence who later became the spokesman for the Pentagon in the Carter administration, died October 24, 2002 at Eastern Long Island Hospital. He was 73 and lived in Manhattan and Shelter Island Heights, N.Y.
The cause was pancreatic cancer, his family said.
In 1960, when Mr. Ross was the Washington bureau chief for The Chicago Sun-Times, a United States spy plane was shot down over Russian territory. At the time, government officials claimed it was a weather plane, but the Russian government later produced the pilot, Francis Gary Powers. Mr. Ross and David Wise investigated the incident and published "The U-2 Affair" in 1962.
The book was the first of three the two wrote together.
"The Invisible Government," which was published in 1964 and explained the role of intelligence agencies in diplomacy, was described by Orville Prescott in The New York Times as an "able and interesting work of topical reporting."
"No ordinary citizen could read this book without learning much that he never knew before," Mr. Prescott wrote. "Probably even well-informed members of the Soviet intelligence will find parts of it instructive."
The book was listed as a No. 1 nonfiction best seller in several newspapers. The New York Times, however, listed Ernest Hemingway's "Moveable Feast" in the top position, leaving Mr. Ross and Mr. Wise at No. 2 for 22 weeks, Mr. Wise said yesterday. "We were a bit disappointed," Mr. Wise said, "but I told him that if we had to be second to someone, Hemingway was it."
Mr. Ross and Mr. Wise further explored the international intelligence community in "The Espionage Establishment," published in 1967.
Mr. Ross worked for The Chicago Sun-Times for nearly two decades before leaving in 1977 to become the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, a position he held until 1981.
In 1981 Mr. Ross became communications director for the Celanese Corporation in New York City. He later became a senior vice president of RCA, NBC and the Hill & Knowlton public relations firm. At the time of his death, he was vice president for government relations of Loral Space and Communications.
Thomas Bernard Ross was born in New York City in 1929. He graduated from Yale University and served in the Navy during the Korean War.
Mr. Ross received a Neiman Fellowship at Harvard University and a Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service.
He is survived by his wife, Gunilla, and his daughters, Anne Ross of Manhattan and Kristina Ross of Albuquerque.
Mr. Ross never lost his love for travel, Anne Ross said.
The two flew to China together in 1997, leading Mr. Ross to recall his trip there in 1972 while covering the Nixon administration.
"He went then and brought us back Communist candy to sell at our lemonade stand," she said. "He remembered so much that was different. But we still did buy our Communist candy."
- 2002 Internet Obituary
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