If you’ve ever heard of “happy little trees” or “happy clouds” then you’ve probably heard of Bob Ross, the iconic painter who brought the joy of painting to millions of households around the world. In fact, that was the name of his PBS show: “The Joy of Painting.” But there’s much more to this soft-spoken painting instructor than meets the eye. Who’s Bob Ross? Why did he die so young? What is his background? This blog post will help paint a picture (pun intended) of who the real Bob Ross was.
(1) Bob Ross was an Air Force veteran
Bob served in the Air Force and rose to the rank of Master Sergeant. He credits some of interest in painting mountain landscapes to the time he was stationed in Alaska.
(2) Bob Ross died of lymphoma
When Bob was just 52 years old, he died of lymphoma. The general public was not aware of his sickness until after his death.
(3) Bob Ross filmed over 400 episodes of The Joy of Painting
Bob accomplished the incredible feat of filming over 400 episodes of The Joy of Painting on PBS from 1982-1994. And although many viewers were tuning in to paint along with him, the majority of viewers tuned in just to watch Bob paint.
(4) Bob Ross had naturally-straight hair
Even though Bob’s most recognizable physical feature was his permed hair, he actually had naturally-straight hair. He didn’t much like his perm, but chose to keep it because it was part of his brand and logo.
(5) Bob Ross’s quotes are timeless
As a popular artist on TV, Bob Ross became a pop culture icon. Even after his death, his image is the feature of countless memes and like Chuck Norris, his quotes are shared all over the internet. Here are a few of them:
“There’s nothing wrong with having a tree as a friend.”
“We don’t make mistakes. We just make happy accidents.”
“Talent is pursued interest. Anything that you’re willing to practice, you can do.”
“You can do anything you want to do. This is your world.”
“It’s life. It’s interesting. It’s fun.”
Indeed, Bob Ross was a pop culture icon in his day. Yet, even today, well into the 21st century, Bob Ross continues to be a recognizable face. In fact, he’s probably more popular after his death than when he was alive, simply because the internet keeps his legacy going.