What Happened To Steve Ross, The Son Of Bob Ross?

We probably all know and most likely love Bob’s son Steve. Bob Ross mentioned Steve several times during ‘The Joy Of Painting’, talking about how his son makes a pretty penny selling his masterpieces.
Steve appeared in no less than 13 episodes on ‘The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross’, most noteably in the final episode of the first season, ‘Final Reflections’, where he helps his father by reading questions from viewers, which the old master answers. Besides his appearance in this Q&A style episode he also painted 12 other original paintings for the show.

Steve also quickly became a fan favorite during the Twitch livestream and on Tumblr because of his double entendres, such as “pound it into the brush real good”, “it can be dirty, it doesn’t have to be clean. Oh yeah, sure, tell me more”, or “It’s getting bigger all the time. Oh no, it’s huge. Look at that, it’s a monster!”. Combined with his heavenly voice, the hair and his mustache it is no surprise that Steve Ross was quickly titled Tumblr’s Sex God.

Jokes aside, what really happened to Steve Ross after the death of his father Bob?

It seems like Steve cut every and all ties to the public and went completely underground. Besides the obvious results like the YouTube videos of his appearances on his father’s TV show there are almost no traces of him to be found on the internet. One of the only sources that mention Steve is an announcement of the death of his late father.

The New York Times wrote in an obituary for Bob Ross that “he is survived by his son, Steven, of Ronkonkoma, L.I.”. It seems like Steven (or Steve for short) left Florida to live in the state of New York.

From this obituary it is also known that Steve became a Bob Ross-certified instructor, but after checking lists of practicing instructors it appears that he is no longer teaching people to paint. It is also not known if Steve still paints at all. One of Bob’s oldest friends however stated on his private Facebook page that Steven was still painting the last time they have spoken, but this was around 10 years ago now. Another commenter said that she believes Steve is doing software work now. Further questions about Steve’s whereabouts however remain met with silence.

It seems that Steve Ross does not want to be in the spotlight, as he is completely untraceable on social media or the internet in general. According to this book Steve also has no part in the Bob Ross company and rumor has it that he and the executives did not part on friendly terms after the death of Bob Ross in 1995.

Wherever Steve Ross might be now, we wish him the very best.


41 Replies to “What Happened To Steve Ross, The Son Of Bob Ross?”

  1. I’m watching Steve right now on an episode of his dad’s show, the Joy of Painting. Not surprisingly, he is painting some massive mountains, which his dad always said Steve could paint better than anyone else. I watch Bob Ross’s show very frequently, as much for the paintings he creates as for the sound of his voice, which I always find soothing and calm. It’s a good show to watch at the end of the day when you need to wind down and get ready for bed. I highly recommend it.

    1. One thing I’ve noticed about people on the internet today is that they love to be negative and hate on things and people that make the world a more beautiful place. Unfortunately, Bob Ross has become another target for the simple minded haters out there that have nothing better to do than talk bad about him, saying he wasn’t a real artist or whatever other nonsense they say. The fact is, he was an amazing artist, teacher and human being that obviously loved what he did. He was able to bring joy and happiness to the world and we would all benefit if we tried to do the same. Haters are always going to hate and when they do, we have to do our best to ignore them and continue to be positive, just as Bob would have done.

  2. In the 80’s and 90’s I used to go to bed at 1 in the afternoon. Sure enough Bob would put me into that alpha wave state within 10 minutes. It’s a great way to feel and I would fight to stay awake until about 5 minutes were left.
    I bought all of his stuff back then but was disappointed that my first and only 2 paintings weren’t perfect.
    I cut myself no slack. I didn’t allow myself any time to get better. (In retrospect, very immature of me).
    Fast forward and in April of 2018 I’m giving it another shot.
    I probably have a couple of hundred hours at the easel and I can tell that I’m actually close to liking 1 of my paintings enough to sign it and give it as a gift.

    See what 30 years of growing up does? (I was almost 30 yes. old in ’90).

  3. I’ll agree, his voice is very soothing and usually I end up asleep or ready to go to sleep. Another thing I have noticed about things from haters of Bob not being a real artist or a very good painter, and that Ross didn’t come up with the wet-on-wet style and such, that it was William “Bill” Alexander who started the style. In the very first “Joy of painting” episode, Bob acknowledges Bill Alexander as his friend, mentor and teacher of this style. And again in the first episode of season 2, Bob again acknowledges Bill Alexander, so the haters saying the things about Bob did or didn’t need to go back and check out season 1 episode 1, and also season 2 episode 1, and they will hear Bob acknowledge Bill Alexander for the style!
    Ok, rant over! LOL But yes, his voice is very relaxing!

        1. He has a YouTube e channel with pretty much all the episodes. Its completely free. I use that since I burned through what Netflix had of him.

    1. Bill Alexander didn’t exactly invent wet-on- wet painting. It is a technique that dates back hundreds of years.

    2. Thank you for putting people straight on Bob Ross!!! By the way, he was an absolutely gifted and amazing painter! I truly cannot understand how anyone could say anything else!

    3. Bill Alexander did not invent the wet on wet method of painting. Frans Hal and Rembrandt used the method in the middle 1600’s.

    4. bill didn’t invent wet on wet. also bill and bob’s relationship was strained because bill was really jealous and angry at bob for being more famous than him. how petty.. can’t even be happy for your student. that’s the whole point of being a teacher/mentor

    1. +1 Steve could do a youtube painting show! Hint hint Steve… you and your fathers legacy are very loved. My son falls asleep to Bob every day for his nap.

    1. No offense, but you statement that you just spoke to him has little merit without some exppanation of how you came to do so, and the general nature of the relationship. Just saying “I talked to him last week” is something anyone can say about anyone else, even the dead. I do hope that Steve is well and healthy, and understand the desire for privacy. It IS my wish your post is true. … and that Steve is happy in life. There have been reports of his death 3 years before his dad, and at other times, but I assume incorrect.

      1. You can get it to Bob Ross studio we’re he lived and painted in Florida. I went there and they display his paintings he did while there pluse teach classes and sell his products

  4. Bob Ross’ paintings are a display of how painting has evolved since Monet and other former artists. Computers have evolved, athleticism , sports, everything, including automobiles have all evolved. You can’t compare Michael Angelo’s work, the Sistine Chapel, for example, or the Mona Lisa and other great paintings. It’s just a different era with different methods. That doesn’t mean there aren’t great painters today just because they aren’t talked about in Art History class in college. Bob Ross was a great painter of scenery and of nature. Because that’s what he loved to paint. Also a great teacher. There’s no need to compare him to painters from two or three hundred years or more ago. They all have their place in history. And yes, he has acknowledged Bill Alexander as his mentor, but Bill was a bit jealous of Bob.

  5. One of the best painters right now, same but ever more refined technique, is KEVIN HILLS. I love him too. His paintings are more vibrants with alot of easy details.

  6. Monet and Van Gogh among other painters of years ago used the wet on wet technique at some time or another. Bob Ross did not and Bill Alexander did not invent the method. They were both great teachers but not innovators. I love the way Bob Ross as well as his son Steve presented the technique.

  7. Bob Ross gave so much joy and love to us, his fans. I am still learning from him.
    Steve is gifted in the same way. Steve can offer more. I wish he would paint for us again and share his gifts to those who appreciate him.

  8. “Steve” is Robert Steven Ross who goes professionally by Robert Ross now and is in charge of nearly all of the Bob Ross merch you see havung aquired 100% of his dads likeness rights following a 2016 lawsuit against those infringing.

  9. I used to hang out with Steve back in 1990-91. He was living in Muncie,Indiana. He was doing some painting then but was on a dry spell. He didn’t talk about his Dad much,when he did,most of it was nice things.I was on the road a lot,I went out on the road for about a month(mid 1991)when I got back into Muncie,I was told Steve had moved to Chicago,he had met someone. I Have searched the internet but no luck.1991 was the last time I saw Steve.

  10. I was born in 1977 so I remember this show growing up. I love the song in the opening and closing credits of the show. It brings me back to my childhood.

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