Hal Ross, co-founder of Mapes & Ross Advertising Research, dies at 88

Hal “Red” Ross the co-founder of Mapes & Ross Advertising Research, died on May 21. He was 88.

Born on July 5, 1934, Hal was raised in and around Princeton in a loving farming family that was affected, like many families, by the Great Depression. He was gifted with a strong mind and body and a will to succeed, which served him well in life. He excelled in mathematics and statistics and put his efforts towards a notable career in market research. After co-founding Mapes & Ross Advertising Research, he managed the company for 30 years. He was a leading authority in the field and was frequently quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Advertising Age, and other journals.

Even with all his career achievements, he defined himself first as a father and excelled at the role. He raised two sons and a daughter with bottomless affection, support, and engagement. He loved to coach kids’ baseball and football and was highly involved with the Princeton YMCA swim center.  Active in community service, he participated in the Princeton Rotary Club for decades.

He loved to mingle with witty, positive people, and could deftly deliver a joke or funny story to light up the room. If rock n’ roll or country music played, his feet were moving. The man could dance. His charm was legendary.

He loved sports and played many well. Over time he mostly gravitated to skiing. This passion grew from regular family weekends at Elk Mountain, Pa., and eventually led to his retirement in Sun Valley, Idaho where his sons had previously relocated. The free spirit culture of Idaho suited him well and he effortlessly found his place among the colorful local ski town characters.

Hal is survived by his sons, Peter and Brian, sister, Dorothy, brother-in-law Bruce, and nephews Doug and Chris.  He will be sorely missed. Perhaps his only goal left unfinished was a tireless campaign to rid menus of garlic and onions.

He will be laid to rest next to his daughter Jennifer in the Princeton Cemetery. A casual dress celebration of his life will be held at the Nassau Club at 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 10.