Bob Ross, PBS Icon, Receives Digital Homage From Google

Bob Ross, the favorite and “froed” PBS host, who taught generations of Americans how to paint, became a “Google Doodle” as the company celebrated what would have been the painter’s 70th birthday, the Los Angeles Timesreports.

Ross had a small platform in 1983 before anyone had heard of YouTube or Google but aired on PBS for 11 years. In a soft-spoken voice, Ross would “make love to the canvas” as he used his wet-on-wet, turning a blank canvas into a lush landscape painting within 30 minutes.

He calmly sat in front of his canvas as he gave easy-to-digest painting lessons. By the time the hour ended, the idea was that both viewers and Ross alike would have completed their landscape paintings.

Bob Ross was considered a “how-to” host, following in the footsteps as such iconic and charismatic hosts like Mr. Fred Rogers and Julia Child, The Washington Postreports.

The Joy of Painting series would show placid lake scenes, towering pines, and majestic mountains. By the time the series had become a hit in the mid-80s, Ross launched his multimillion-dollar line of instructional materials and art supplies.

Ross realized he was also selling a character-himself-and never trimmed his trademark fro, as it and his face were on all of the products made by Bob Ross Inc.

During his time served in the Air Force, Ross was primarily stationed in Alaska. He was inspired by the landscapes he had seen while living there.


In 1995, Ross died of lymphoma at age 52.

Today on Google’s homepage, Ross’s would-be 70th birthday is celebrated. And as Ross would say:

“From all of us here, I’d like to wish you happy painting, and God bless, my friend.”