The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee

Share on Social Media

Information about Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee

Profile image of Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
MedicalMakers
Occupation(s):
Academic Administrator
Osteopathic Physician

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Catfish
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Las Vegas, Nevada
Favorite Quote:
Bless your heart.

Birthplace

Born:
6/1/1942
Birth Location:
Detroit, Michigan

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
MedicalMakers
Occupation(s):
Academic Administrator
Osteopathic Physician

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Catfish
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Las Vegas, Nevada
Favorite Quote:
Bless your heart.

Birthplace

Born:
6/1/1942
Birth Location:
Detroit
See how Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Academic administrator and osteopathic physician Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee was born on June 1, 1942, in Detroit, Michigan, to Fred Ross, Sr. and Ernestine Moten, the oldest of six children. One of her younger sisters is entertainer Diana Ross and two of her brothers also pursued musical careers; one as a successful songwriter for Motown and one as a dancer with Diana Ross’ tours. Although Ross-Lee was originally interested in a career in show business, her interests soon turned to medicine. In 1960, Ross-Lee entered Wayne State University, where she studied biology and chemistry. After graduating in 1965, Ross-Lee briefly pursued a teaching career; as a member of the National Teacher Corps, she taught in Detroit Public Schools and earned her M.A. degree from Wayne State University.

In 1969, Ross-Lee’s focus returned to medicine, and she entered Michigan State University’s new College of Osteopathic Medicine. After graduation she opened a family practice in Detroit in 1973. She left private practice in 1983 and joined the U.S. Navy Reserves as a physician and became a professor at Michigan State University in the Department of Family Practice. Ross-Lee became a consultant on education in the health professions in 1984 for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In 1990, Ross-Lee served as a community representative on the Governor of Michigan’s Minority Health Advisory Committee. Ross-Lee, already chair of the Department of Family Medicine at Michigan State University, received a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship also in 1991, which allowed her to spend a year working as a legislative assistant for health in the office of Senator Bill Bradley. After the fellowship, Ross-Lee returned to Michigan State University as an associate dean for health policy in the College of Osteopathic Medicine.

In 1993, Ross-Lee was named dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Ohio University. She became the first African American woman to be dean of a medical school and one of only a handful of female deans in the country. After a notable career in Ohio, Ross-Lee was appointed vice president for health sciences and medical affairs at the New York Institute of Technology in 2001 and one year later, she became dean of the school’s College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Ross-Lee has lectured extensively and written many scholarly articles on osteopathic medicine. She is a strong advocate for the profession and its preservation. Ross-Lee has been active in the American Osteopathic Association, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, the National Osteopathic Medical Association and the Association for Academic Health Centers. She has been a captain in the U.S. Naval Reserve Medical Corps, and she and her husband, Edmond Beverly, have raised five children, all of whom have pursued professional careers.

Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 25, 2007.

See how Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee is related to other HistoryMakers
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Barbara Ross-Lee's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Barbara Ross-Lee talks about her father's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Barbara Ross-Lee talks about her mother's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Barbara Ross-Lee discusses her parents' marriage and her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Barbara Ross-Lee describes her upbringing in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Barbara Ross-Lee describes the sights, smells, and sounds of her childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Barbara Ross-Lee talks about her siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Barbara Ross-Lee talks about her early education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Barbara Ross-Lee talks about her education and the influence of religion
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Barbara Ross-Lee describes her church and discusses the influence of religion in her family
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Barbara Ross-Lee talks about her family's summer trips to the South
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Barbara Ross-Lee discusses her mother's illness
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Barbara Ross-Lee discusses her relationship with her sister Diana Ross
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Barbara Ross-Lee describes herself as a child and schools she attended
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Barbara Ross-Lee talks about holidays and family traditions
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Barbara Ross-Lee talks about her family's move into Detroit's public housing
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Barbara Ross-Lee talks about Cass Technical High School and contracting tonsillitis
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Barbara Ross-Lee describes her educational and social experience and influences at Cass Technical High School, part 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Barbara Ross-Lee describes her educational and social experience and influences at Cass Technical High School, part 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Barbara Ross-Lee discusses her plans for college
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Barbara Ross-Lee discusses the beginning and growth of her sister, Diana Ross', career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Barbara Ross-Lee describes the challenges of pursuing medicine
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Barbara Ross-Lee discusses her graduation from college, her introduction to osteopathic medicine meeting her husband James Lee
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Barbara Ross-Lee talks about notable people in Detroit, Michigan and explains osteopathic medicine
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Barbara Ross-Lee discusses osteopathic hospitals and medicine
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Barbara Ross-Lee discusses her family and graduate education
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Barbara Ross-Lee talks about her experience in osteopathic medical school
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Barbara Ross-Lee describes challenges she faced in medical school
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Barbara Ross-Lee discusses the impact of her sister's rise to fame
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Barbara Ross-Lee discusses her career as an osteopathic physician
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Barbara Ross-Lee discusses opening her first practice
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Barbara Ross-Lee talks about the 1967 Detroit riots
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Barbara Ross-Lee talks about joining the Michigan State University Faculty
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Barbara Ross-Lee discusses her experience at Michigan State University Medical School
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Barbara Ross-Lee discusses her experience in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Fellowship Program
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Barbara Ross-Lee explains the difference between medical doctors and osteopathic doctors
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Barbara Ross-Lee discusses her work as Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Ohio University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Barbara Ross-Lee discusses her work as Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine and her political involvement
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Barbara Ross-Lee talks about the progress of osteopathic medical education
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Barbara Ross-Lee describes the Heritage Fellowship
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Barbara Ross-Lee talks about her work as dean at the New York Institute of Technology
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Barbara Ross-Lee discusses the challenges she faced as dean of the New York Institute of Technology
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Barbara Ross-Lee talks about her future plans
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Barbara Ross-Lee discusses the integration of osteopathic medicine in conventional medical facilities
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Barbara Ross-Lee reflects on her career, her hopes for African Americans in osteopathic medicine, and her legacy