William J. Ross

Class of
William J. Ross

William J. Ross

"Ross has spent the last many years doing enormous good in a realm beyond his distinguished legal career. As Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Inasmuch Foundation and of Ethics and Excellence in Journalism, his leadership, compassion, and sound judgement in directing these philanthropies has resulted in hugely beneficial support to many worthy causes for the public good."
Josephine Freede, 2015


William J. “Bill” Ross, a native of Oklahoma City and the son and grandson of ’89ers, attended Rosary School, Classen High School, and the University of Oklahoma, where he earned his bachelor’s and law degrees. He was an Oklahoma City Assistant Municipal Counselor until joining the law firm Rainey, Flynn, Green and Anderson in 1960. He became senior partner in 1975 and the firm was renamed Rainey, Ross, Rice & Binns.

Since 1982 he has served as chairman of Inasmuch Foundation and Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, founded by Edith Kinney Gaylord. Ross served as attorney for Ms. Gaylord, as well as her father, E.K. Gaylord, and her brother, Edward L. Gaylord.

His honors include an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma City Public Schools Wall of Fame, University of Oklahoma College of Law Order of the Owl, and Beaux Arts King. He served as co-chairman of the Board of Visitors of the University of Oklahoma College of Law and headed the building campaign raising $15 million.

Ross was a director of United Energy Resources, PetroUnited Terminals, Hadson Petroleum, Clinton and Oklahoma Western Railroad, and First Interstate Bank of Oklahoma. He chaired the Bicentennial Committee for the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, ensuring the state’s replica of the Liberty Bell reached students in each of Oklahoma’s 77 counties.

He is a member of Christ the King Catholic Church. He is married to the former Mary Lillian “Lil” Ryan. With Lil he is the father of three adult children and four grandchildren.

Fun fact

In 2014, Ross was named King of the Beaux Arts Ball.

Oklahoma connections

Ross was born in Oklahoma.


Oklahoma City







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