Rob Kardashian, whom we’ve watched come of age on Keeping Up With the Kardashians for the past decade, celebrates his 30th birthday today—and we imagine his sprawling family can’t believe he’s all grown up, either!
The past year in particular has been especially momentous and life-changing for Rob, who became a first-time dad in November when daughter Dream Kardashian was born. And thanks to all the lessons that come with fatherhood, both preparing for it and actually living it, the young man whom we’ve seen till now figuring it all out as he went along is starting a new chapter that focuses on his baby girl.
But no man is an island, and the relationships that most impacted his life over the years have helped lead him to where he is today.
Barely two and a half years older, Khloe became his biggest supporter, confidante and reality check, never coddling him too much or refusing to tell him exactly what she thought of his decisions.
Rob even lived with Khloe off and on, both at the Tarzana house she shared with Lamar Odom and later when she moved back to Calabasas. And when she was between houses, Khloe stayed with Rob at his place.
She added, “I just bought him a rug for his bedroom, and he was so cute. He’ll text me and tell me how much he likes it, and he notices things. So, I like it. I call him my son as a joke.”
The hard time Khloe was referring to was a period in which Rob retreated from the public eye as much as possible as he battled health concerns related to diabetes, which he worked to get under control in the past year as well.
“If only you could see yourself through my eyes!” Khloe captioned a throwback pic of her brother during their time as roomies. “I’ll forever be obsessed with you! My one and only! #MyAce.”
“I’ve had women all in my life since day one,” he explained to Ellen DeGeneres in 2011 about growing up Kardashian. “I know the proper gifts to get a girl. I’m very open about this—I get my nails done once a week. I get facials—my mom raised me that way.”
Cut to a beaming Kris in the audience at Ellen.
Rob was among the family members who called Caitlyn to compliment her Vanity Fair cover in 2015 when she introduced herself to the world.
“You have always been a role model to me and now more than I ever, I look up to you. LOVE YOU,” Rob tweeted at the time as well.
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“All day,” Rob smiled. “That’s all they do. [Growing up], at my basketball games, I’d shoot free throws, they’d be screaming. Everybody knew my sisters from embarrassing me.”
“We’d be screaming and jumping up and down like he was the best player on the team,” Kourtney recalled. She also revealed that they would dress Rob up and put makeup on him when he was little.
The good grooming habits stuck, though, and Rob said that he, Khloe and then brother-in-law Lamar had mani-pedi appointments back at their house after the taping.
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“Lamar, from day one, was like, ‘Yo, I want you to live with me. You don’t have any brothers. I don’t have any brothers, either’…and he’s trying to get another championship for the Lakers, so when he’s on the road, I gotta be there with Khloe to kind of just help her out,” Rob explained to Lopez.
The young man did say that he was looking for his own house, though, because Khloe just had “too many rules”—including that he had to be in a relationship with a girl or otherwise formally introduce her to Khloe before he could have her over. Rob joked that being around all of Lamar’s candy and junk food in the house (the former NBA player has an infamous sweet tooth) was also getting to be a little much for him.
“Rob and Lamar speak all the time,” a source told E! News during that time. “They have a very strong friendship and have helped each other out of dark times and continue to lift each other up.”
Scott Disick, who used to affectionately call Rob “Bob” back in the day (“We joke all the time, we get each other,” Rob said), also enjoyed lending his expertise to Kourtney’s little brother about being a dad.
“Rob is like my brother and I love him more than anybody in the world,” he added. “I’ve been around with him and helping out where he needs help and kind of showing him the ropes of what it’s going to be like to be a new dad.”
“I’ve had the same group of friends since fourth grade. I do the same activities, like bowling,” Rob told Ellen. “I’m just not into the whole spotlight. It’s great, it’s given us so many opportunities in our life and we’re very thankful for that, but my dad kinda raised me, since I lived with him mostly before he passed away.” Kris and Robert Sr. divorced in 1991, when Rob was 4.
“He just raised me, like, he was very humble. He didn’t really care about all that. He did really well for himself, but he never went out there and flaunted it…He taught us a lot at a young age.”
“I wish, obviously, I still had him to this day to see what’s going on,” Rob told the Wall Street Journal in 2013. “[I know] he’s up there, but just to get his real advice and help me and everything. He was such a powerful man and such a great entrepreneur…I wish I could learn more at this age and this time of my life from him. But I learned so much and I’m so fortunate—some people don’t even have a father. So to have 15 years with my father was more than enough.”
After splitting time between his parents, Rob recalled moving in with his father full-time about a year before Robert Sr. died of cancer in 2003 at the age of 53.
“That was like a sign from God, I got to spend a year with my dad right before he passed away,” he said, “and I feel like I learned to just try and be independent.”
“Rob is such a great guy,” Khloe told People in 2015, when Rob became more reclusive and his appearances in public slowed to a trickle. “He’s charming, charismatic, everything. That’s what’s so infuriating. I’m like, ‘Where is your will to live life? Let’s be around people!'”
After he and Chyna, whom he’d known for a long time, became a couple, Rob started to do exactly that.
“They haven’t seen Rob come out of his shell like this in years,” a source told E! News a year ago, not long after they started dating. “The family is very grateful for [Chyna’s] help with giving Rob ‘confidence’ again and putting his health and fitness first…All the sisters are happy to have their brother back.”
“She is the best and I love her so much and I thank God every day for her cuz she is the best and she is my best friend :)” Rob captioned a picture of his baby girl in January. And just a couple weeks ago, at the end of one of their visits, he wrote, “Saying bye to my beautiful baby girl ….. she is smiling at me. U see how she looking at her daddy … I literally can’t get enough of this girl,,, I never felt a love or happiness like this ever in my life and she makes me so happy…about to miss her so much …Love You baby Dream.”