What do Golda Meir and Che Guevarra have in common? They both knew Jim Ross. One very much enjoyed the meeting with Jim, and the other did not.
Jim, born in Detroit on August 20, 1920, had a very dynamic international career after serving in WWII as a 1st Lieutenant overseas and getting an MBA from Harvard.
He married Ruth H. Ross in Rochester Minn. in 1948, and Chrysler sent them to Latin America – Venezuela, Cuba and Mexico – three years later with two children and two grandmothers.
ITT then hired Jim to turn around their holdings in Argentina. Buenos Aires was the favored country for the Ross family, all were sad to depart but pleased to finally going back “home” to live.
Rockwell International hired Jim to develop their international automotive business and oh, how he traveled far and wide around the world for many, many years.
Many have asked Jim if he worked for the CIA, his daughter did again on his death bed … the tune never changed: “I was never on their payroll.”
Jim will be remembered for his outstanding stories as he had very unusual, interesting experiences.
Back to Che…
Jim had a meeting with Che in Havana in 1960 to request back the Chrysler money that Che had nationalized. Heated words were expressed by both, a pistol was placed on the table, Chrysler did not get a dime back, Jim and his family had 24 hours to move off the island.
Back to Golda …
In 1973 Jim was in the upper lounge of a 747 leaving Tel Aviv when two gentlemen proceeded to ready their automatic rifles from their briefcases. Jim had thought this might not end well, but was relieved when Golda walked in and had her guards stand down. She and Jim were left alone to enjoy conversations on the flight to New York.
Jim was a resident of Boca Grande for 25 years and passed away at Tidewell Hospice in Englewood on June 12, 2017.
Jim is pre-deceased by his wife, Ruth; son Russell (Cheryll) Ross; and is survived by a daughter, Laurie (Rick) Granger; and a grandson, James Ross II.
Jim’s memorial service is Monday, Feb. 19 at 2 p.m. at St Andrew’s Church, Boca Grande.