The painter Bob Ross was born on October 29, 1942. He was also an art instructor and a T.V. host. Ross was enlisted in the U.S. Air Force when he discovered his passion for painting. Since then, he dropped the Air Force and followed his dreams. He was not only a prolific painter, but he also taught art on the popular T.V. show “The Joy of Painting.” His calmness and gentleness in teaching are what he will always be commemorated for.
Robert Norman Ross, famously known as Bob Ross, was born on October 29, 1942. Though born in Dayton Beach, Florida, soon after his birth, his family moved to Orlando where he grew up. His father, Jack Ross, was a carpenter while his mother, Ollie Ross, was a waitress. Ross quit high school in ninth grade to help his family. He joined his father in working as a carpenter. When Ross was 18, he enrolled in the U.S. Air Force, where he served as a medical records technician for a while. Later, Ross rose to master sergeant. While in the Air Force, Ross took a painting class at a club and discovered his love for art. He made use of his free time painting.
When Ross watched German painter Bill Alexander teaching a painting technique on a television show, he quickly learned the skill. Ross started painting and selling landscapes. A friend convinced him of his amazing talent, which eventually made Ross quit the Air Force in 1981 to pursue his true passion. Ross went back to Florida where he worked with Alexander, traveling as a painting tutor. Along the road, Ross decided to keep going on his own. From 1983 to 1994, Ross hosted a television show as an art instructor. The show, “The Joy of Painting,” was a success; it aired in the United States, Canada, and countries in Latin America and Europe.
Ross was married three times in his lifetime and had two children in total. The painter married Lynda Brown two months before his death. Ross was diagnosed with lymphoma and died in July 1995.
Ross joins the U.S. Air Force
He quits the Air Force to follow his dreams
He becomes the host of an instructional television show
Ross dies of complications from lymphoma
Why We Love Bob Ross
He encouraged us to follow our dreams
Ross didn’t finish high school, didn’t attend college, and was relatively old when he found his passion. He is a great example of finding and following our dreams at any given time. No excuses!
His calming presence
Everybody loves Ross’ instructional videos because of his calming and soothing voice and personality. He even used to sing while teaching.
His gentle teaching style
Ross had a very gentle approach while teaching to paint. He has a famous quote, “We don't make mistakes, just happy little accidents.”
5 Surprising Facts
He is a 21st-century internet celebrity
In the last few years, Ross’ instructional videos have become widely popular on YouTube.
He had a heart for injured animals
As a teenager, Ross cared for all kinds of injured animals.
He didn’t like his haircut
Ross wasn't a big fan of his signature hair; he maintained it because it was part of his image.
He had a missing finger
Ross lost part of his left index finger while working as a carpenter.
He was not earning from the show
Ross did most of the show for free; it was good advertising for his work.
Bob Ross FAQs
How old would Bob Ross be today?
In 2022, he would be 80.
What is Bob Ross's famous quote?
His most famous quote is, “We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.”
What age was Bob Ross when he died?
He was 52 years old.
Bob Ross’s birthday dates