Mary G. Ross Bio
Mary Golda Ross was born on 9 August 1908 and died on 29 April 2008. She was the first known Native American female engineer. She was one of the 40 founding engineers of the Skunk Works and was known for her work at Lockheed on “preliminary design concepts for interplanetary space travel, manned and unmanned earth-orbiting flights, the earliest studies of orbiting satellites for both defense and civilian purposes.
|Born||August 9, 1908 Park Hill, Oklahoma|
|Died||April 29, 2008 (aged 99) Los Altos, California|
|Cause of Death||Natural Causes, Old Age|
|Education||Northeastern State Teachers’ College, bachelor’s degree in mathematics, 1928|
|Parent(s)||Great grandfather, John Ross|
|Employer(s)||Lockheed, 1942; joined their Advanced Development Program (Skunk Works), 1952.|
|Projects||First American Indian female engineer.|
|Significant design||“Preliminary design concepts for interplanetary space travel, manned and unmanned earth-orbiting flights, the earliest studies of orbiting satellites for both defense and civilian purposes.”|
|Awards||Silicon Valley Engineering Council’s Hall of Fame, 1992, Fellow and life member of the Society of Women Engineers, and others|
|Google Doodle||Google honored Ross by featuring her in its Google Doodle on August 9th, 2018 on what would have been her 110th Birthday. ” Happy Birthday Mary G. Ross”|
Mary G. Ross Biography
After retiring in 1973, Ross lived in Los Altos, California, and concentrated on recruiting young women and Native American youth into engineering careers. She joined the Society of Women Engineers as a member from 1950s. She also supported the American Indians in Science and Engineering Society (AISES) and the Council of Energy Resource Tribes.
At age 96, wearing her “first traditional Cherokee dress” of green calico, made by her niece, she participated in the opening ceremonies of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. She left a $400,000 endowment to that museum upon her death.
Mary G. Ross Awards and recognition
- Silicon Valley Engineering Council’s Hall of Fame, 1992
- Peninsula Woman of the Year, by the women’s communications society Theta Sigma Phi Achievement awards from the American Indian Science and Engineering Society and from the Council of Energy Resource Tribes
- The San Francisco Examiner’s Award for Woman of Distinction, 1961
- Woman of Achievement Award, California State Federation of Business and Professional Clubs, 1961
- Outstanding alumna awards from her first two alma maters
- Fellow and life member of the Society of Women Engineers. The Santa Clara Valley Section “established a scholarship in her name.”
- Google honored Ross by featuring her in its Google Doodle on August 9th, 2018
— H4RD NUTS (@H4RDNUTS) August 9, 2018