Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Sex, Deceit, and Scandal: The Ugly War Over Bob Ross’ Ghost

Bob rossBob Ross, Inc. recently had its day in court defending itself against claims that it made millions in illegal licensing of Bob’s image by going beyond the company’s core business of selling Bob Ross-themed paint supplies. However, this is not the first time the company has seen the inside of a courtroom. 

Shortly after Ross died in 1995, his business partners, Annette and Walt Kowalski, brought claims against the Ross estate, his widow, half-brother, and a doctor in Indiana. Their strategy was to gain control of the company and Ross’s likeness, referred to as “Grand Theft Bob” by close friends of the Ross family.

Alston Ramsay lays out the genesis of "Grand Theft Bob" in the article “Sex, Deceit, and Scandal: The Ugly War Over Bob Ross’ Ghost.”

For more information see Alston Ramsey “Sex, Deceit, and Scandal: The Ugly War Over Bob Ross’ Ghost” The Daily Beast, May 19, 2021.

Special thanks to Jerry Martin Jr. (University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention. 


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