In Memoriam
Stephen A. Ross
February 3, 1944 - March 3, 2017

Stephen A. Ross, the Franco Modigliani Professor of Financial Economics at MIT, died suddenly and recently at the young age of 73. It is impossible for words to do justice to his legacy. Steve, the inspiration for FARFE, was an intellectual giant, a friend, and a mentor to so many of us. Steve touched everyone in finance -- not just through his amazing intellect and creative research -- but also because of his positive disposition and the genuine interest he showed towards all who came in contact with him. He was revered by students, academics, and practitioners alike. His departure leaves a great void in our hearts, but also fond memories of the joy we experienced in his presence.

Steve stood out when it comes to the gifted minds who advance truth and science. He was instrumental to the breakthroughs of almost every major area of financial economics. He wrote seminal papers on the term structure of interest rates, the theory of risk and return, agency theory, option pricing, security design and market completeness, asymmetric information and signaling, capital structure, performance evaluation, and the econometrics and testing of asset pricing models, among others. Steve was also a legendary teacher and the author of a bestselling finance textbook. He inspired numerous young scholars to pursue careers in financial economics and to uphold his high standards for research and the practice of finance. Steve always stressed the importance of combining theory and empirical tests and appreciated the value of implementing the research insights of finance in practical settings.

Steve died too young. His life was the brightest of candles and it flickered out too soon. He is survived by his wife Carol, son Jonathan, daughter Kate and her husband Doug Bosch, granddaughters Lucy and Polly, and sister Linda Grossbart.

Steve's family has requested that donations in memory of Stephen Ross be made to the Foundation for the Advancement of Research in Financial Economics (FARFE). Donations can be made via Paypal using this link:

Alternatively, donations may be sent directly to:

Foundation for the Advancement of Research in Financial Economics (FARFE)
c/o Professor Chester Spatt, Treasurer
Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Inquiries about donations, if any, should be directed to (


The fifth Stephen A. Ross Prize in Financial Economics has been awarded to Mutual Fund Flows and Performance in Rational Markets, published in the Journal of Political Economy 112 (2004), 1269-1295", by Professor Jonathan Berk of Stanford University and the late Professor Richard Green of Carnegie Mellon University.


Funded in December 2006 by finance academics and practitioners, the Foundation for the Advancement of Research in Financial Economics (FARFE) is committed to supporting and encouraging fundamental research in financial economics and to facilitating productive interaction between research and practice in finance. To further this mission FARFE has established the Stephen A. Ross prize to be awarded for an important research contribution in financial economics. In the future FARFE plans to establish a FARFE fellowship program and to organize conferences that will bring together scholars and practitioners. In so doing, FARFE will help enhance the quality of the financial industry, which is a driving force of economic growth and an important part of the economy.

Organized as a nonprofit, tax-exempt foundation, FARFE is an independent institution that is not affiliated with any university, association, financial institution or the government.