William A. O. Gross ’37 died September 24, 2008, in Greenwich, Conn.
The son of Bowdoin professor Alfred O. Gross H’52, he grew up in Brunswick, where he accompanied his father on research trips to Panama, Labrador, and other locations, cultivating a lifelong interest in birds and wildlife. After graduating from Bowdoin, where he was a member of Zeta Psi fraternity, he worked for U.S. Steel in Pittsburgh, Penn. During World War II, he served as a sergeant on the War Production Board for the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged in 1943 from the Investigation Intelligence Section 1st Service Command. In 1945, he joined the advertising firm Ted Bates & Co. in New York, where he rose to the rank of senior vice president and handled many accounts for Carter-Wallace and American Home Products, including Colgate toothpaste, Anacin, and others. Leaving Ted Bates when the agency terminated the American Home Products account in favor of Bristol Myers, he joined Clyne Maxon Advertising before starting his own firm, Drug Copy Associates, where he created the product “Gas-X” for the Ex-Lax Company. He was an avid investor, art collector, and history buff, as well as an adopter of local dogs. In 1948, he married Abby Minot, the sister of the late Otis Minot, who was married to Bill’s sister, Louise, and also the Smith College roommate of Judy Fisk, the wife of Bill’s late brother,Tom. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Abby; his children, Cynthia Politano of Canton, Conn., Bayard Giles of Greenwich, Bradley Giles of Studio City, Calif., Harriet “Tinker” Sanford of Greenwich, and Abby “Baba” Walked of Wilton, Conn.; a sister, Louise Minot of Brunswick, Maine; a sister-in-law, Judith Gross of Lincoln, Mass.; eight grandchildren; and a great- granddaughter.