Fran Ross (1935–1985) grew up in Philadelphia. She graduated from high school at 15 and studied Communications, Journalism, and Theatre at Temple University. She moved to New York in 1960 where she worked as a proofreader and journalist. Her novel Oreo was originally published in 1974 during the height of the Black Power Movement of the 60s and 70s. She then moved to Los Angeles to write comedy for Richard Pryor.