What Happened to Bob Ross

What Happened to Bob Ross? Facts About His Art & Death (2024)

If you’re into arts, then you know who Bob Ross is - he’s only one of the most famous artists of his time.

He's an American painter and a television personality. His popular television show, The Joy of Painting, introduced him as the painter to the masses.

If you want to know the truth about what happened to Bob Ross, then keep on reading.

The Truth About Bob Ross


photo of Bob Ross

Bob Ross's death left controversy and raging speculations. People then started digging into his life and uncovering deep secrets.

Through the TV documentary series, people found out about the speculations regarding his affairs with women and an argument with the Kowalskis for the memorial agreement.

Hence, before his death, he struggled with the issue of preserving his legacy.

Additionally, some insiders believe that the image of Ross is not being used according to his wishes.

His funeral was also tried to be kept secret from the public by the Kowalskis [1].

How Did Bob Ross Die?

Bob Ross died due to lymphoma at the height of his career.

He was so successful and became so well-known to the public and masses that his works and techniques in painting were taught in schools and universities, but it was short-lived.

Nevertheless, his famous TV documentary series and paintings are still well-known today.

What Happened To All Of Bob Ross's Paintings?

after the rain by Bob Ross

When he died, Bob Ross's works and paintings were never sold. Some were donated to the Smithsonian, while some are kept at the Virginia headquarters of Bob Ross Inc. [2]

Additionally, you may visit the Bob Ross Art Workshop in New Smyrna, Florida, to see his original and large collection of paintings.

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What Happened After Bob Ross Died?

Before he died, his friend and business partners, the Kowalskis, prepared a memorial agreement about their business and asked him to sign it, but he refused.

Even so, the control of their business was overseen by the Kowalskis and is still bearing Ross's name and visage.

What The Netflix Documentary Revealed

image of Bob Ross painting

Dying Wish

When Bob Ross was on his deathbed, he wished to transfer the rights of the business to his heir but failed to do so because it was a partnership corporation with his wife and the Kowalskis.

Hence, he refused when the Kowalskis tried to persuade him to sign the memorial agreement to sign his name over to them. His son even tried to win the battle for it but lost in the end.


  • Legacy Issues

One of these issues includes controlling the company he had founded with his wife.

Before he died, his friends tried to make him sign the memorial agreement to sign his name over to them, but he strongly refused. This issue was brought to court but to no avail.

  • Rumored Affair

Bob Ross was rumored to be having an affair with his business partner, which his son confirmed as he recalled some moments when he overheard his stepmother and father's argument.

He even revealed that their relationship worked out before his stepmother's death. Even so, the other party denied this allegation and the issue, as well as any other rift between them.

  • Lady’s Man Persona

Bob Ross was also criticized because of his signature perfect curls, which were achieved with a perm.

He was known for his appeal to women as he projected a lovable hippie persona.

His soothing and intimate voice also makes the viewers feel as if they were talking face-to-face and having a one-on-one painting lesson.


What happened to Bob Ross's son?

Bob Ross's son tried to win the case and battle for his father's trust and business agreement but failed to do so in 2019.

He also revealed and cleared some issues surrounding his father’s name to settle some long-known controversies once and for all.

How old was Bob Ross when he died?

Bob Ross was 52 years old when he died due to lymphoma. Despite having an illness, he kept working and filming his TV series.

He was very passionate about painting and created a lot of artwork for the duration of his career. His career may be shortlived, but his legacy will live on forever.

Final Say

Bob Ross is a talented artist and tv personality. Despite the controversies and issues revealed to his viewers, it didn't stop the art enthusiasts from appreciating his works and paintings.

If you are looking for some Bob Ross-inspired merchandise to give to a fan or add to your growing collection, make sure to check Toynk out.


  1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/arts-entertainment/2021/08/27/bob-ross-netflix-documentary/
  2. https://time.com/5625470/what-happened-to-bob-ross-paintings/

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