President of Temperance and General Life Assurance Company since its founding in 1886, Sir George William Ross (b.1841 - d.1914) became President of Manufacturers Life Insurance Company in 1901 after the amalgamation of the two companies. A temperance advocate, Ross was also the first policyholder of the Temperance and General.
A prominent political figure, Mr. Ross served as Ontario’s Minister of Education in 1883, pioneering many education reforms and creating Ontario’s public library system. From 1899 to 1905 George Ross was Premier of Ontario, responsible for a number of social and labour initiatives. After serving as Leader of the Official Opposition in Ontario’s Provincial Legislature he was named to Canada’s federal Senate in 1907. As a result of his years of public service in both Federal and Provincial politics, George Ross received a knighthood from King George V in 1910.
Under the Presidency of George Ross, the Company continued to expand operations outside Canada - including the Company’s successful entry into the United States in 1903. Between 1901 and 1914 the Company’s New Business increased from $5 million to $12.5 million, Business in Force from $27 million to $82 million and assets from $3.7 million to $19.2 million.
Next President: William George Gooderham (1914 - 1935)