If you are not a fan of Bob Ross than I feel a bit sorry for you. Born Robert Norman Ross in 1942, Ross was born and raised in Florida and spent his early years working as a carpenter with his father where he would lose part of his left index finger. At 18 he joined the Air Force and became a medical records technician. He rose to the rank of Master Sergeant and spent time at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska, where he saw snow and mountains for the first time. While in Alaska, Ross came across a show called the Magic of Oil Painting with Bill Alexander. He studied with Alexander and eventually learned he could make more money painting than in the service. He retired after twenty years in the Air Force and created the show the Joy of Painting.
The early days were lean and Ross decided to get his hair permed to save money on hair cuts. Though he didn’t like the style, it became a trademark look for him as the series became popular and Bob felt compelled to keep it. The show ran from January 11, 1983, to May 17, 1994, with Ross retiring after being diagnosed with Lymphoma. He passed away at the age of 52 on July 4, 1995.
His show would live on in re-runs and in the style of painting he created. He is known for his gentle, zen-like style, often referring to things like ‘happy little trees’ and ‘happy little clouds’… and of course, for his hair. Ross has become a pop culture icon, with mash-up videos popping up on Youtube and of course early this year, Funko announced a Pop! Vinyl figure… which I pre-ordered and had arrive this morning. Here he is in all his glory…
And if you need a bit more of the Bob Ross Zen today… the Bob Ross remix: