Ross Malone was born in Roswell, New Mexico September 9, 1910 and graduated from Roswell High School. He received both his undergraduate and law education at Washington and Lee University, taking his L.L. B. Degree in 1932. After graduation, Malone returned to Roswell to practice law. He served in U. S. Navy intelligence during World War II, rising to the rank of lieutenant commander.
Malone served as Deputy Attorney General of the United States in 1952-1953. He was active in public service in other capacities including service on the Hoover Commission's task force on streamlining legal procedures, the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement, and the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission. Malone was president of the American Bar Association in 1958-1959 and posthumously received the coveted ABA Medal. He was one of the principal drafters of the 25th Amendment dealing with Presidential succession. He was named vice president and general counsel for General Motors in 1967.
Malone was a member of the board of Washington and Lee and was serving as its Rector when he died on August 13, 1974 in Roswell. At the time of Malone's death, Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr., a close friend for more than 40 years, said: "His death ... has deeply saddened me. But quite apart from our cherished personal relationship, I am intimately familiar with his brilliant career -- perhaps the leading lawyer in the Southwest, as Deputy Attorney General of the United States who did so much to improve the quality of the federal judiciary, as one of the ablest presidents of the American Bar Association, as vice president and chief legal advisor to the world's largest corporation, and as Trustee and Rector of Washington and Lee. In all of these roles, Ross Malone, a natural leader, was respected and admired for his fidelity to duty, his courage and great wisdom, and perhaps most of all for his spirit of tolerance and generosity toward all of mankind."