Here’s What Bob Ross Looked Like Before Growing His Trademark Afro

You’re probably aware of legendary landscape painter Bob Ross’s fascinating origin story. For starters, he enlisted in the Air Force at age 17 and held military positions that required him to be, in his words, “the guy who makes you scrub the latrine, the guy who makes you make your bed, the guy who screams at you for being late to work.”

Ross reportedly decided to “never scream again” if he ever moved on from the military, a vow that definitely harmonizes with the famously serene on-screen persona he later perfected. His soft voice came complete with a tranquil look that included a half-unbuttoned shirt and a fluffy afro that looked so natural you’d swear he was born with it.

But that obviously wasn’t the case, and now we can prove it, thanks to this “circa 1970” photo of Ross, dug up by Reddit user DXGypsy:

And from the same thread, here’s what Ross looked like during his aforementioned military days: