Bob Ross grew up in Orlando, Florida, when it was still a swampy lowland untouched by the magic of of Walt Disney.
At 18 , he joined the Air Force, beginning a 20 year career in Medical Administration. He was filled with dreams of faraway places. His first assignment was in Florida. "I joined the service to see the world and they sent me back home," he laughs.
Later those dreams did come true. Awesome and unspoiled, Alaska was his home for 12 of those 20 years in the service. It was there that he saw many of those beautiful scenes he paints each week on "The Joy of Painting".
Throughout his service career, Bob's passion for painting grew. He studied art at colleges and universities across the country and t rained under a number of private instructors. In 1981 Bob retired form the military to pursue painting full time. He traveled constantly, demonstrating and teaching the wet-on-wet technique and sharing the joy of painting with thousands of people.
Through his enduring PBS television series "The Joy of Painting", Bob Ross has become known to artist, both amateur and professional, all across the continent.
To millions of other viewers he is a friend who enters their homes weekly or even daily with a half hour of relaxation and enjoyment and an appreciation of nature as only an artist can see it.
Countless others know him only as "that fuzzy haired artist who does fabulous painting in half an hour on TV.
For Beginner artists, Bob has provided the inspiration to pick up those difficult oil paints, perhaps for the first time and begin to learn the joy of painting. He has been the guide and mentor who has helped them from the first timid brush strokes to the proud completion of their first master piece.
With 95% of all Public Television stations showing the series, "The Joy of Painting" has become the most popular learn to paint program of all time. Viewers and painters in every state plus Canada, Mexico and Japan can join Bob at least weekly for a half hour or more.
It is Bob's gentle and encouraging manner that has won him so many friends and followers across the country. "Painting Should be fun, " he constantly reminds his viewers.