Robert Owen 'Bob' Melvin, the Man with Two Faces, was born Schuyler County, Missouri, on May 9, 1920, one of six children of Fred and Hazel Melvin. Throughout his life he was examined by doctors, but all were unable to find a diagnosis for his deformity; Bob said it was simply "god's sense of humor". In his later years, however, he was found to have neurofibromatosis, a disorder that causes the spontaneous growth of fibrous tumors. Manifestations of NF differ greatly from patient to patient; some simply have brown birthmarks called cafe-au-lait spots, while others are greatly deformed. As a child, he was barred from attending school because of the way he looked; however, he did manage to obtain an education. He excelled at math and often helped with the bookkeeping for the sideshows.

Bob first entered showbusiness in 1949 at Coney Island. From there, he played at "every state fair west of the Mississippi". When he married his longtime girlfriend Virginia in 1952, observers were heard to mutter that the match-up wouldn't last a year, but in fact it lasted more than forty. Professionally, Bob Melvin was known as The Man with Two Faces or the Modern Elephant Man, a nod to Joseph Merrick, who was believed (incorrectly) to suffer from NF also. He worked for Royal American Shows and Whitey Sutton and helped handle the bookkeeping for the sideshow. He also enjoyed a minor film career, appearing as a sanitorium inmate in Sisters (1973) and as a denizen of the underworld in The Sentinel (1977). In addition, Bob appeared in the documentaries Being Different (1981) and I Am Not a Freak (1987). Bob was a friendly, church-going man, beloved by all who knew him in the freak show and in his hometown of Lancaster. He and his wife Virginia had a daughter, who later gave the Melvins a grandson and granddaughter. Bob passed away in his hometown of Lancaster, Missouri, on November 19, 1995.

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Special thanks to Slim Price for the stills from I Am Not A Freak.