2014 50 Most Beautiful

Ross Gage
Ross Gage
Stephenville, Texas
Relationship Status: 
Party Affiliation: 

Life has brought Ross Gage a long way from the busted golf cart he’d ride to his babysitter’s house.

“Her name was Granny Francis,” Gage said, “and she would come pick us up from school in a three-wheeled golf cart. In the back of this golf cart she had a box that was held in with a bungee cord that we would sit in.”


Times were simple growing up in a town that boasts about 17,000 residents. 

“We would eat fried Spam and butter sandwiches, and drink Tang, and watch ‘Wheel of Fortune,’ Gage remembers. “It was quite the childhood.”

Gage now serves as a legislative assistant for Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas), but back in his fried-Spam-eating days, he had other plans: “When I was a kid, I never imagined I’d be up here doing this. I wanted to be a magician or a game show host.”

But a job as a magician wasn’t in the cards for Gage: instead, Washington was calling his name. The political science major at Texas Tech University says he “loves” D.C., calling it a “great place to work,” especially for young people. 

Now, he’s busy prepping to take the LSAT in the fall.

When he’s not studying, Gage enjoys spending time with his dog, Zilli, hunting and fishing at home in Texas, and getting in daily hour-and-a-half workout sessions. 

“I go to the gym every single day,” he says, “It’s kind of an obsessive thing. But for stress, that’s always kind of how I dealt with it.”

Dealing with the clumsy teenage years was a different story. His smooth, confident style — which always includes pairing a “fun” tie and cowboy boots with his suits — are a far cry from years ago: “I was kind of awkward in high school. I was a late bloomer: long hair, acne, braces. I was kind of gangly.”

Gage says he was “always surrounded by women” growing up, living with his mother and sister after his father passed away when he was a toddler. His mom, who’s active in her college sorority, would bring her son to many of those meetings. 

“I have a lot of female friends because I spent most of my life surrounded by them,” he said.

Despite a female-centric environment, the wannabe magician still had to learn a few tricks to try to impress the ladies. While he played a multitude of instruments as a kid, from the piano to the tuba, he intentionally added another to his repertoire. 

“When I got older, I started getting interested in girls and I said, ‘I need to learn to play the guitar.’ Which is terrible,” he chuckles.

And although music didn’t work out, and he won’t be joining David Copperfield onstage anytime soon, Gage is still holding out hope for one of this other childhood dreams. 

Being a game show host would be “a little bit different” from pursuing a career in energy or tax law, he jests, but he’s “still kind of hanging onto” his Pat Sajak-style goal.

“That one can still happen,” he said with a smile.

— Judy Kurtz