Mary Ross Smith is an author, speaker, and insurance agent. She was born in Shreveport, LA. She is the youngest of five children. Her family moved to Los Angeles, CA in 1947. 

Her mother was the founder of a prominent African-American mortuary in California. She spent her youth playing and working in the funeral business.

In 1964, as a new parent, Mary decided to leave the funeral industry. She took a position with a local bank as a general ledger bookkeeper. 

Seeking a more challenging career, she began working for a large corporation in production control, where she was employed for ten years.

Mary felt that she needed more fulfillment in her life and decided to become an entrepreneur. She determined that a career as a life insurance agent would give her the challenge and freedom she desired. Life Insurance sales proved to be the right niche for her. She enjoyed helping people plan for their future and protect their loved ones.

In 2003, she was awoken at 3:00 am and felt inspired to write her story. That's when she first began developing  her first book. During that time, she knew her story was something to share and would inspire others. 

Soon after she began documenting her story, Mary attended the 2003 Maui’s Writers Conference and in 2004, her first book, Soul Survivor, was published through AuthorHouse. She also attended the Los Angeles Book Expo in 2004. In 2006 and 2007, she spoke at the Black Expo in Phoenix, AZ. In 2008, She attended the Natchez, MS Literary Conference and did a book signing at a local bookstore.

She has had numerous radio interviews including Tony Brown KAYT 88.1 in Alexandria, LA. In 2010, South Mountain Community College, Phoenix, AZ. (Soul Survivor) was used as a required read for Human Development Social and Multi-Cultural Psychology class.  In 2013, she was a guest for interview on ABC “Carrying the Message with Marcel Williams. 

Mary is a frequent visitor at Book Clubs, and Guest Speaker. Her travels have taken her to Chicago, Mississippi. San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Phoenix, AZ.  

Mary has one adult son and two grandsons. She lives in Phoenix, AZ with her husband Verne W. Smith who is an Insurance professional.