Frederick Joseph Ross was born in 1927 in Saint John, New Brunswick. He began his art studies with Ted Campbell at the Saint John Vocational School in 1944. He then studied in Mexico in 1949 with Pablo O'Higgins at Taxco.
Ross was the Supervisor of Art at the Saint John Vocational School where he had also been teaching since the 1950's, he retired in 1970 to devote his time fully to painting.
He gained national recognition following a 1993 Beaverbrook Art Gallery retrospective, 'The Art of Fred Ross - A Timeless Humanism'.
In 2002 he was made a Member of the Order of Canada. He was also a member of The Royal Canadian Academy.
He died in 2014.