Obituary of Ian Simpson Ross


It is with much sadness that I report the passing of Ian Simpson Ross, on May 21, 2015, in Vancouver. Ian died peacefully at home after a prolonged illness and in the company of his beloved wife Ingrid and family. Ian is a renowned scholar of Adam Smith. In addition to his Life of Adam Smith (Oxford University Press 1995; 2010 2nd ed.), Ian co-edited, with Ernest Mossner, the Correspondence of Adam Smith (OUP 1977; 2nd ed. 1987). He also wrote Lord Kames and the Scotland of His Day (OUP 1972), a biography of Lord Kames, and edited On the Wealth of Nations: Contemporary Responses to Adam Smith (1998).


Ian Simpson Ross was born in Dundee, Scotland in 1930. He received his BA in English Language and Literature from the University of St. Andrews (1954), a BLitt from Oxford (1956), and a PhD from the University of Texas (1960), under Mossner’s supervision. Ian then moved to Vancouver to teach in the English Department at the University of British Columbia, where he rose through the ranks and eventually served as Head of Department for ten years (1982-91) shortly before retiring as Professor Emeritus in 1993.  He was also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.


Margaret Schabas, UBC