Bob Peterson was born in Wooster, Ohio, USA, in 1961. He studied mechanical engineering at Ohio Northern University, where he took computer graphics courses and graduated in 1983. He continued his studies in mechanical engineering at Purdue University where he earned a master's degree in 1986. While a student, he wrote and drew a cartoon strip called "Loco Motives". Before joining Pixar in 1994, he worked at Wavefront Technologies, Inc. and Rez-n-8 Productions.