The Tragic Death Of Bob Ross

Bob Ross, born Robert Norman Ross in 1942, was a painter most well-known for hosting the PBS show "The Joy of Painting" from 1983 to 1994. Ross started painting during his time in the Air Force when he took classes at the United Service Organizations club. In his spare time, Ross would create paintings of nature that surrounded him at the base in Alaska where he was stationed. Because he had limited free time during his service, he had to learn how to finish a painting quickly. "I used to go home at lunch and do a couple while I had my sandwich. I'd take them back that afternoon and sell them," Ross said (via Military).

When Bob Ross returned to civilian life, he started appearing in "The Joy of Painting" where he taught viewers how to paint beautiful pictures even if they had no prior experience. His calm and soothing demeanor made for a relaxing show, and it was a great success. Eventually, Bob Ross came up with a line of art materials, including paints, easels, and brushes, according to ATI. Aside from appearing on television, Ross also conducted personal painting lessons that cost $375 an hour.

Bob Ross' health

Those who had a close relationship with Bob Ross said that the painter knew that he would die at a young age. Ross was a cigarette smoker, and before even reaching the age of 50, he had already survived two heart attacks, as reported by ATI. In 1994, Ross was diagnosed with lymphoma — a type of cancer that attacks the white blood cells. According to Medical News Today, lymphoma can grow and spread at a fast rate. Those who have lymphoma tend to have weakened immune systems as a result of the illness.

Bob Ross always kept his private life out of the public eye, and even after getting his diagnosis, he only shared the devastating news with his family and closest friends. "The Joy of Painting" aired its final episode on May 17, 1994. With more than a decade on air, Bob Ross was able to film 403 episodes of the show, per Outsider. Soon after the end of his show, Ross experienced the effects of his cancer, with his signature afro hair falling off. His condition got worse, and he died on July 4, 1995, just a little over a year after the final episode of his show aired. He was 52 years old.