Lawrence Ross attended both the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California, Los Angeles, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in History. Ross also has a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in screenwriting from the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television.
Ross began his writing career in the mid 1990s as the managing editor of Rap Sheet magazine, the west coast’s first hip hop magazine. He’d then move to the Los Angeles Independent newspapers, where as a reporter, he covered city government and community issues in Los Angeles, Hollywood, Culver City, and West Hollywood.
Ross’s first book, The Divine Nine: The History of African American Fraternities and Sororities, was published by Kensington Books in 2000. The first book written about all nine African American fraternities and sororities, the Divine Nine is a Los Angeles Times, and Essence magazine best seller. As a result, Ross has lectured at over 500 colleges and universities, speaking on issues of fraternalism, student development, and fraternity and sorority hazing. He’s written commentaries, and has been interviewed, by The Root, The Grio, Los Angeles Times, the BBC, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, MSNBC, CNN, and other publications.
In 2001, Ross’ second book, The Ways of Black Folks: A Year in the Life of a People was selected as a “Fall Must Read” by the National Association of Black Journalists. The Ways of Black Folks chronicled Ross’ travels to England, France, Ghana, Brazil, Jamaica, and Canada, as he searched for the commonalities in the African diaspora experience. His two novels,Friends With Benefits and Skin Game, were both chosen by Doubleday’s Black Expressions Book Club. And Ross’ fifth book, Money Shot: The Wild Nights and Lonely Days in the Black Porn Industry was published by Running Press, and is the first book written about African Americans in the adult film industry.
In early 2016, Ross’s sixth book, Blackballed: The Black & White Politics of Race on America’s Campuses is being published by St. Martin’s Press. Blackballed explores the present and historical issues of racism on hundreds of American college campuses, and how that ties into today’s #BlackLivesMatter campaign.
Ross lives in Los Angeles with his wife, April, and their son Langston.