Steve Ross | What Does Bob Ross Son Do For a Living?

Steve Ross has greatly succeeded in his career and contributed significantly to the art community. Like his father, Steve Ross is an incredibly talented artist who has made a name for himself in the art world. While Bob Ross is a household name, few people know about his son’s incredible journey. This blog post will look at Steve Ross’s life and career, from his early beginnings to his rise to fame.

Steve Ross Early Life

Steve Ross was born on August 1, 1966, in the USA. He is a proud American and has a Cherokee Indian-American ethnicity. He was brought up with Christian values and is straight. Steve’s parents were Vivian Patricia Ridge and the legendary Bob Ross. That’s right; Steve is the son of the famous painter Bob Ross, who taught millions of people how to paint and create beautiful landscapes.

Steve grew up in a creative environment, surrounded by his father’s art, which undoubtedly influenced his artistic pursuits. Standing at an impressive 6’5″, Steve is quite tall and towers over many people. He has a head full of luscious brown hair and striking brown eyes that captivate everyone who looks at him. He currently resides in the USA, where he continues creating stunning art pieces and carrying on his father’s legacy.


After the passing of his mother, Bob Ross and his son found solace in painting, and it became a lifelong passion for both of them. Steve was not content with simply admiring his father’s work. He decided to follow in his footsteps and become a painter himself.

Steve’s first appearance on The Joy of Painting was in the final episode of the show’s first season. He nervously read questions from fans while his father expertly filled the canvas with beautiful scenery. It was a nerve-wracking experience for the young artist, but it was just the beginning of his artistic journey.

A younger Steve on one of his appearance  on The Joy of Painting with his father Bob Ross
A younger Steve on one of his appearance on The Joy of Painting with his father Bob Ross | Image Source:

Steve’s passion for painting didn’t stop there. He became a certified Bob Ross instructor and traveled nationwide, sharing his father’s techniques and secrets with everyone who would listen. He even became more comfortable speaking to large audiences, showcasing his incredible talent and passion for art.

In Season 29, Episode 6 of The Joy of Painting, Bob Ross described his son as a passionate painter and teacher who had been painting since childhood. It was also mentioned that Steve sold his first picture at the young age of 12. The next time Steve appeared in The Joy of Painting, he had grown in size and character. He was completely in his element, showing viewers how to create landscapes rivalling his father’s.

Break from painting

Losing a parent is never easy, and for Steve Ross, it happened twice. He was just a young boy when he lost his mother, and then, in 1995, he lost his father, Bob Ross, to a rare and aggressive form of cancer called lymphoma. As any son would, Steve rushed to Florida to be by his dad’s side during his final months.

He saw firsthand the toll that Bob’s illness was taking on him and the stress of business partners looking to take over the company after Bob’s passing. It was a difficult time for Steve, who had already experienced so much loss in his young life. After his father’s death, Steve found himself in a deep depression. He struggled to come to terms with his loss and even had thoughts of ending his own life.

Controversies after Bob’s death

Bob Ross left behind a legacy that lives on today. After his death, his intellectual property rights were acquired by Bob Ross, Inc. (BRI). However, his son, Steve, received no compensation for this acquisition. Steve believed that his father would not have wanted to give up all of his control and even pointed to a clause in his father’s will that granted rights to his name, likeness, and recorded work to Bob’s half-brother Jimmie Cox and Steve himself.

Steve’s lawsuit claimed that his father had intended to award the Kowalskis only art-related rights, such as a line of paints or a series of licensed training courses worldwide using Ross’s technique. Steve also claimed ownership of the more significant assets, including the episodes. Unfortunately, Steve lost the case.

Although Steve loved painting just as much as his father, the memory of his father was so closely connected to the art form that he could not continue painting. Steve was hounded by journalists looking to hear his side of the story, but he avoided the spotlight and turned to a private life away from the media for more than 15 years.

Steve Ross return to painting

After over two decades of staying out of the public eye, Steve returned to the world of painting and teaching, and he’s doing it in style. In 2019, Steve teamed up with his longtime friend and fellow Bob Ross instructor, Dana Jester, to organize a painting workshop.

They chose a nondescript building in Winchester, Indiana, but to their surprise, dozens of painters and hundreds of fans showed up to watch them in action. And the event was streamed online, becoming an instant sensation. Since that initial workshop, Steve and Dana have held more classes in Tennessee and Colorado.

They’re also still hosting classes in Winchester, just an hour away from where Steve’s dad filmed The Joy of Painting. And Steve couldn’t be happier to be teaching again. He said, “It’s like the first time I’ve had the sun on my face in a thousand years.” Undoubtedly, Steve’s return to painting and teaching has been a long time coming.

Steve Ross Net Worth

As of the latest update in 2023, his estimated net worth is an incredible $10 million. This is a testament to Steve’s incredible skill and dedication to his craft. His paintings have captured the hearts and minds of art lovers worldwide, and it’s no surprise that he has achieved such great success.

But it’s about more than just the money for Steve. He truly loves painting and sharing his knowledge and passion with others. Through his workshops and classes, he has inspired countless people to pick up a brush and create their masterpieces. Also, his painting and teaching career shows no signs of slowing down.


Steve Ross, son of the beloved painter Bob Ross, has had a unique journey in art. He has faced challenges, such as losing his parents and legal battles over his father’s intellectual property, but has persevered and found his way back to painting and teaching. Now, Steve is a successful painter and instructor and continues to inspire others with his love of art and passion for teaching.

Steve’s story is a testament to the power of perseverance, passion, and dedication. Despite facing adversity and personal struggles, he has found a way to pursue his dreams and make a successful career from his love for painting. And while he may always be associated with his famous father, Steve has made a name for himself in art and is respected by his peers and students.

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Femi Abimboye

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