Bob was born in Minot, N.D., at Trinity Hospital to Mac and Sid Brown. He grew up in Berthold, N.D., with younger sisters Nadeen, Wanda and Sandy. During his high school years Bob enjoyed playing on the basketball team and continued to follow the sport with great enthusiasm. He also enjoyed music and was in the high school choir quartet. His favorite songs were "Honey, He's Not Heavy-He's My Brother," "Mister Can You Spare a Dime" and "Oh, Holy Night."