Obituary: Stuart Ross MCIPR
Stuart Ross, one of the most respected communications professionals in the transport sector has died at just 42 after a battle with cancer.
Stuart, who was married to Becky and had a three-year-old daughter, Rowan, was Director of News at TfL and formerly served on CIPR Council between 2011 and 2013. He died on Friday after a 20-month battle with the disease.
His death has led to an outpouring of praise for Stuart’s huge contribution to the reputation of Transport for London, and his qualities as a friend and colleague.
It is impossible to overstate Stuart’s enormous contribution to London. He joined TfL in 2000 and has been instrumental in making us the organisation we are today.
He always put the needs of others first and has given a start in life to so many young people in the communications industry, including through a ground-breaking internship scheme. Stuart will always be an inspiration and hero to us and we will all miss him terribly as a colleague and friend. Our thoughts are with his family and many friends.
Stuart was one of the best people you could know. He was warm, caring and fun. But he was also someone who did the right thing.
The universal praise Stuart has had from everyone he touched is a tribute to a rare individual. We will miss him dreadfully.
A blog by Ross Lydall, the Evening Standard’s chief news correspondent who covered many of the key stories Stuart was involved in, published on Tuesday carried a host of tributes from key London figures. The Mayor, Boris Johnson, said Stuart had made an “immense” contribution to London in his 15 years at Transport for London.
Stuart was at the forefront of TfL’s communications during the launch of the congestion charge in 2003, the 2005 terror attacks, and the unprecedented demands from the world’s media before and during the 2012 Games.
His team won numerous industry awards, including the CIPR Excellence Award for Outstanding In-house Team in 2013 following London 2012, as well as the award for crisis communications in the wake of 7/7 crisis, and for London’s successful hosting of the Tour de France Grand Depart.
Stuart Ross was a straight, honest, passionate man. That he was a press officer for a public institution makes those qualities rare; that he was a real friend even rarer.
London’s transport, and Londoners, if they knew it, had a defender of deep integrity. His tragically early death robs us if what he might of achieved, but makes us all thankful of what he did do.
Stuart will be hugely missed, both as a highly distinguished public servant, and as an inspirational and warm-hearted colleague.
He played a vital role in key moments in TfL’s history, from the aftermath of 7/7 to the huge success of the 2012 Games. He led by example - continually seeking to make our organisation reflective of the city we serve.
Details on a thanksgiving service to celebrate Stuart's life, organised by colleagues at Transport for London at City Hall, will be announced in due course.